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A Big, Blue, 96-Gallon Recycling Cart in Every Driveway

Residential Waste Systems plans to wheel out large recycling carts for all of its Monroe customers and make pickups every other week.

Rather than carrying overflowing blue recycle bins to the curb, Monroe residents will soon be wheeling out 96-gallon carts every other week. Aside from being more convenient for homeowners, John Bria, operations manager of Residential Waste Systems, which now serves the entire town, says the move will reduce his company's carbon footprint with less truck runs, as well as the tonage costs it pays.

Most Monroe residents who recycle currently use 16-gallon bins.

"This is a $353,000 investment we're making for the town," said Bria, who had been a longtime Monroe resident before his family moved to Milford.

Bria says switching to the 96-gallon carts in other towns has led to a 30% average increase in people recycling. His company also serves Trumbull. 

The carts and Residential Waste Systems' website have information on what materials should go into the bins. The website also has contact information for the office and explains how to put out the bins, because all of RWS's trucks are fully automated. 

First Selectman Steve Vavrek said the town's website also has useful information on recycling.

The first selectman said RWS bought out Enviro, so he is working on a new contract. However, he said the terms will be the same.

"This is no extra cost for Monroe," he said Tuesday.

The only cost Bria mentioned is a $10 monthly fee for customers who do not want to wait for the entire town to switch over to the larger containers. The reason for the fee is that a separate truck capable of picking up the 96 gallon bin would have to be sent out for those pick ups, according to Bria.

On Monday night, Bria and his father John, who owns RWS, made a presentation to the Town Council.

First Selectman Steve Vavrek voiced his support for switching over to the 96-gallon carts and making pickups biweekly. 

"A lot of people hardly ever fill up their bins on a weekly basis," he said. "To me, it makes sense. These guys are doing it the right way. They lived in Monroe for many years and it's their way of giving back."

Here's the link to the landing page with a Monroe guide and RWS's next holiday schedule alert: http://www.residentialwastesystems.com/monroe-ct-recycling-services/

Rt25 July 31, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Bill, Please explain the statement from Bria about the $10 charge per month for folks who do not want to wait for the entire town switchover? Confusing.
Bill Bittar (Editor) July 31, 2013 at 09:47 AM
All he said on it is what you just repeated in your comment. If you don't want to wait for everyone to get it, there is a $10 monthly fee to have one sooner. The fee would go away after everyone in town gets a cart.
Bill Bittar (Editor) July 31, 2013 at 09:51 AM
I just asked if there is any more info about the fee for having a cart sooner and will add to the story if I get anything else on it.
Bill Bittar (Editor) July 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Just got this on the reason for the fee: "The reason for the fee is due to the fact that RWS has to send out a separate truck on your pick up day capable of picking up the 96 gallon bin. The trucks that work the routes currently are unable to pick up large recycling carts. Once RWS delivers carts to the entire town the truck that services the town will be fully automated and capable of picking up the large 96 gallon bins."
Life By The Green July 31, 2013 at 10:44 AM
As a consistent and vigilant mixed stream recycler, I can't ever remember a time where I had 96 gallons worth of items in 2 weeks - maybe 40, once or twice a year, and that's for a family of 4. More often it's 10 gallons a week. I agree with Steve K - this toter is way too big. I don't have a place for it in my 1 car garage (too wide to fit between the car and the wall) so it will have to live outside. That's why I passed on RWS's offer of a 96 gallon trash toter as well. At least with the recycling, the racoons aren't as likely to be interested but it will definitely be an interesting piece of lawn art between trips to the curb!
Rt25 July 31, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Thank you Bill.
PlumbBob July 31, 2013 at 10:57 AM
I am curious as to how the paper and plastics will need to be separated? I know that if I currently leave paper goods loose in the bin without placing them in a bag the people picking up the recycling refuse to take the paper and leave it in the bin. I didn't see anything discussing the requirements on the RWS site. Hopefully we can just throw it all in the new bins without separating it.
Barbara Voit July 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM
PlumbBob - recycling no longer has to be separated. This system has been in place for well over a year. I have been mixing my paper, egg cartons, junk mail, etc...My drivers take all of my recyclables in my blue bins. I am looking forward to the 96 gallon bin, with all the recyclable materials shown by the guide on the website my family should have no problem filling the bin.
QWERTY July 31, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I'm with Steve on this. I only put out my 16 gallon bin when it's overflowing, usually once a month. I have no room for a 96 gallon bin, why force me to babysit it? Give home owners the option to take as many 16 gallon bins as they'd like. Once empty, they are at least stackable. I find it ironic that newspaper needs to be in a paper bag. Very few places give out paper bags these days.
Lauren July 31, 2013 at 01:12 PM
I find it frustrating that people are complaining about this. if you don't fill up your recycling bin, you're not recycling enough. RWS has a list of recyclables and you may be surprised as to how many things you can recycle, also, how you don't have to separate anymore. This is encouraging people to recycle more and reducing the amount that the trucks have to go out and pick up. If the only downside is that it's renting space on your property, get over it.
Barbara Voit July 31, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Single stream (current system of recycling) means no separation required. No bagging of newspaper, everything can be loose and mixed. The 96 gallon bins seem to work great for our neighbors in Shelton. With all that is recyclable 16 gallons just isn't enough too much is being thrown away in the trash because space is limited. Personally I hate dragging multiple little bins to the curb every week.
itgetsbetter July 31, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Mr Bittar, Out of curiosity- I happened to have this same article open in different browsers from when you originally posted this article last night and now. I was wondering why you changed both the picture and the headline. The originally posted headline from last night reads "A Big Blue 96-Gallon Recycling Bin AT THE END of every driveway" and not IN every driveway. We don't keep ours in our driveway at all. However to do bring it to the end on recycling day. I can provide a screenshot of the original posting of this article.
Rapture July 31, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I agree with those that are in favor of this, I actually got the flyer about the bin over a month ago and was told about the 10$ fee and that we would soon be getting them and to try and wait the few months. When I noticed Shelton get their new bins I was jealous, and now am excited knowing we are getting one too because I often and overflowing and luckily have nice neighbors that let me put stuff in their bins so its not all over the yard/road. Thank you RWS!!!
Life By The Green July 31, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Lauren writes: "if you don't fill up your recycling bin, you're not recycling enough" I'd say if you don't fill up your recycling bin, you're not consuming as much as Lauren. Not everyone generates the same amount of recyclable materials. I recycle everything on the current mixed stream list religiously and I almost never fill the bin. Of course I break down & stack any cardboard, nest open containers, etc., all of which I'm willing to do to avoid storing an unnecessary 96 gallon blue monster.
Bill Bittar (Editor) July 31, 2013 at 05:17 PM
@ItGetsBetter: I had to make the story live on the site before it was completely finished, so I could add a photo from my phone, so I was still revising the story when you saw the older headline. Was thinking along the lines of "A Chicken in Every Pot." This morning, RWS sent me a photo of one of its containers, so I swapped out my older photo — which was of my own recycling cart.
Bullmastiff July 31, 2013 at 06:04 PM
BRING IT ON!!! This is excellent news and a win-win for all involved. Thanks
itgetsbetter July 31, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Thank you so much for your reply in confirming this anomaly in front of me. I was getting ready to call the Warens to make sure my computer isn't haunted. lol
Steve Kirsch August 01, 2013 at 02:15 AM
To be clear, I'm all for covered bins with wheels. I asked Mr. Vavrek about these two years ago when single stream was announced. I knew that I would increase my recycling which I have. However, one bin covers me most weeks. I also break down cardboard and save in another cardboard box which I take out when full. My guess is that the max size bin I need for every two week pickup is 64 gal, and that would be rare. Today was our street pickup and I noticed that only one house had two bins, the other 10 houses fit their recycling into one bin. If you want a 96 gal bin, that is fine with me. I would like something smaller.
Ken Wielk August 01, 2013 at 07:20 AM
I'm thrilled about this! We often could use a forth bin for our recycling, but they only take three. It will be much easier to bring curbside, and because it's covered we can leave it next to the other garbage cans rather than in the garage! If you're not filling your recycle bins you may want to check all the things that have been added to the list...they take up to #7 now. Can't wait for this to start!
Gerald M. Gaynor August 01, 2013 at 07:31 AM
I've visited communities where The Big Bin is utilized and it is a far superior system to the one that we now have. Those who don't believe that they need that much recycling capacity can join those in town who don't put out their current bins every week. A sanitary, efficient system that will result in savings to the town is to be welcomed not obstructed.
donna miller August 01, 2013 at 08:07 AM
THANK YOU ! We can't wait....No more skunks and squirrels rummaging through our bin on the deck,for bit's and morsels. The best part is the bin won't be taking a leak on you,while trying to get it to the road ....THUMBS UP
Lauren August 01, 2013 at 11:29 AM
@life by the green so what's the problem? you don't want to store the container just because you don't recycle as much as everyone else?
christine August 01, 2013 at 12:30 PM
I'm another person who is thrilled! Our weekly bin is always overflowing, ever since we switched to single stream recycling. SO many things are recyclable now, hopefully when we get the bins we'll get info on what to fill them with, so people will be aware of just how much is recyclable.
Alex August 01, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I can understand people who think the containers are too big but overall I think this is a good thing for the town. I'd rather lug out one large container every other week than 2-3 small bins (or 1 small bin each week for that matter). Plus not having to worry about the cardboard getting wet is also helpful. The guide still says no Styrofoam recycling, so that stinks but is often the norm for town recycling.
Shannon LaBarca August 02, 2013 at 06:02 PM
who do we contact for possible adoption?
Stephanie G August 02, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Here's hoping that this will help cut down on the "runaways" that I often find in our driveway/yard after the collection truck comes by...
Gerald M. Gaynor August 03, 2013 at 07:11 AM
I carried two overflowing, leaking, bins to the street yesterday and was wishing the Big Blue Can was already here...
Roberta Gail August 03, 2013 at 12:21 PM
WHEN is Stratford going to get on board with this????
Andrew Douglas August 05, 2013 at 08:34 AM
I'm in Trumbull. RWS offered me the bin, but wanted to charge me monthly for it.. a rate increase of about 8 percent. For a "nice to have" but not essential thing, I'll pass for now.
QWERTY August 05, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Why do people make the assumption that if you don't fill a 96-gallon bin weekly that you aren't recycling enough? This is 2013, newspapers and magazines are outdated. Junk mail should be shredded. I take deposit bottles to the supermarket. Most of my cardboard is over-sized and as such I take to the dump. There's only so many soups can and milk cartons we can consume in one week.

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