Town announces details of new trash program coming July 1 in North Smithfield


NORTH SMITHFIELD – The town has released details of a new trash program to be rolled out on Monday, July 1, with Cranston-based Waste Management to take over North Smithfield’s collection service.

A notice sent out by Recycling Coordinator Vanny Mey notes that all homes will be issued a 64-gallon trash cart and a 96-gallon recycling cart. Residents needing more recycling carts will be able to purchase additional bins at the town Highway Garage at 281 Quaker Highway at a cost of $45 for the 64-gallon receptacles, and $65 for the 96 gallon.

Waste Management will pick up trash weekly, with recycling to be collected bi-weekly.

The town will also sell trash bags for residents who may have occasional weeks exceeding their cart capacity at a cost of $10 for five bags.

“We are switching to automated trash pickups because it is a cleaner, more efficient method for our community,” noted Mey.

The new bins will be lidded, which will prevent moisture from getting in and contaminating loads of recycling, and proponents note the change will also lead to cleaner streets, with trash no longer blowing out on windy days. It reportedly costs the town around $800 every time a load is rejected load when recycling is dumped at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center, which happens when items become wet, or things that can’t be recycled are flagged.

The town signed a five year contract for the new trash and recycling collection service back in March at a total cost of $4,831,848, or $966,369 a year. Public Works Director Raymond Pendergast said the change was needed to reduce the cost for disposal of trash tonnage, and the move passed in a split vote, with Councilors John Beauregard and Claire O’Hara casting dissent.

Mey’s notice, sent out in the town newsletter on Friday, May 10, notes that only items placed inside the carts or town-issued overflow bags will be picked up. A 64 gallon cart is estimated to hold between 5 and 6 large kitchen bags of trash, and Mey told NRI NOW this week that will be the limit – with extra carts issued strictly for those who need additional recycling space.

Pendergast said in March that the town will still offer bulky and white good pickups, as well as drop offs on select days at the highway barn. Mey clarified this week that white goods – which include large metal appliances: stoves, water heaters and gas grills – will continue to be picked up on the first Monday of every month. For bulk goods, residents will call or email her department to schedule a pickup.

Residents can expect to receive complete details during the last week in June, when Waste Management will send postcards to every home on the upcoming change, as well as recycling collection calendars. The new carts are also expected to be issued that week.

“Understandably the beginning stages of transitioning to the new trash program may cause some confusion,” noted Mey.

Those with questions about the program can call the town’s trash and recycling department at (401) 767-2200 ext. 348 or email

Editor’s note: The above article has been edited to include additional information.

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  1. According to the laws on the books, or on the town website, you can just bag extra trash & recycling and leave it by the street.

    • JoshW, I don’t believe the town website has been updated with the changes as this has not been implemented yet. Waste Management is expected to send information to every home in the last week of June, and I think it’s safe to assume that officials are not pushing out much information on the new protocol yet because it is not in place and could be confusing when residents are still expected to follow the old system.

  2. These are wheeled trash cans Scott, they aren’t bins that you need to pickup and carry. That’s why they call them “carts.”

    Maybe go for a drive to a neighboring town and see what everything there has by the side of the road if you are still confused.

  3. Scott, I had the same concerns so I called the highway department earlier this week. First, these containers are on rollers. Secondly, if you find the 96 gallon too cumbersome I was told that after three weeks you can request it be switched to a smaller size.

    HR, aren’t you a candidate for town council ? It’s cowardly not to use your real name when bad mouthing three incumbents on every post. I’m still waiting for you to answer my question on the other article. Cat got your tongue again?

    • I really like the information provided by Mike. I wish the town would give up all the details about the new program.

      • Lol oh goodness me. “Give up all the details”. Come on now. This is trash we’re talking about here. I’m sure DPW doesn’t want to say “gee, if you decide you don’t like it, we’ll just make an exception for you”. Then everyone would do it. Exceptions are just that. Exceptions. Not for advertisement.

        Get with the program here, people.

    • “I’ve never been at a meeting where anybody said “oh I’m the one who recruited this person for the committee assignment”. So like you, I don’t know who recruited the last two members of the budget committee.

      Hasn’t been on every post. Just the last two where Alves was extremely unprofessional and rude to a gavel a volunteer and this one where your big 3 made a TERRIBLE decision in moving toward this new vendor.

      It’s amazing how quickly you come to their every internet rescue….very interesting.

      Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t thrown stones…..(posting about incumbents). I think DaveJ, Kevin Mutto, Bob Simpson, Harley53, Not Her Again all have that same glass house.

      • So if you’ve never been at a meeting where it’s been started who recruited members of boards then why do you claim Ms Alves hasn’t recruited anyone? I notice you didn’t deny you’re going to be a candidate for public office in North Smithfield this November, so that explains why you are being cowardly and using the aliases of HR and JC? If you were familiar with the RI ethics law you would know elected officials are not required to abstain from voting on purchases and contracts recommended by their spouse unless of course a spouse is recommending his own company or a family members company be awarded the contract.
        You’ve always been a wealth of misinformation HR so I can understand why you shy away from using your real name.

    • Mike Clifford – our current 32 gallon bins have wheels too. They are the standard ones used by Waste Management – some of the trucks that currently pick up trash dump them with the automated lift.

      • I understand your concerns Scott since we’re ever older than you but don’t worry needlessly. I’ve rolled the large ones myself and it’s really not a problem. I’m overweight and out of shape so if I can handle it you should do fine. Lol.

  4. How about some details such as where the bins will be delivered (to my home or are people going to have to pick them up) and when will the bins be distributed so I can be on the look out for a new bin. How about releasing the new schedule of pickup weeks. I will make a suggestion why don’t doesn’t the town put all the details about the new program will a detailed schedule of what residents should except in the coming weeks. The vague press release with very little detail.

  5. Maybe this is one of Osier, Hamilton and Alves accomplishments they can list off. Less of a service, less frequency, more out of pocket expenses (if need more bins) and more taxes!

    Wonder how DPW head convinced his wife that recycling every two weeks will lead to more recycling ? Most don’t get that logic, at all. And just because the bin shut, will we never see trash cans overstuff and blowing around? Drive around to Woonsocket and Providence.

    I have a lakefront house in the Sahara to sell to you.

    • I do not think this was the idea of any town councilor but a factor of a new RFP bid for trash pickup service with the most competitive options and price. The state law does require the town to bid contracts. Certain town council people should be happy because Waste Management is a union shop.

      • Meaning the 3 councilors that voted for this new vendor and less of a service program? They should be happy seeing it’s a “union shop” ?

        So the new RFP saves the town money? And then puts the burden for additional capacity onto the homeowner as an out of pocket expense ?

        Town saves a few bucks
        Taxes go up
        Residents need to shell money out for additional waste containers to meet new guidelines.

        Why was this voted as a yes?? How is this not a conflict with DPW head suggesting this firm and then TA president can vote yes. Seems like there are actually 6 votes on the council!

        • I would always vote the opposite of the 2 book ends on the council. Also I have no idea if the contract cost or saves money without analyzing all the bids and seeing what is best for the taxpayer and the town. Also how do taxes go up if the cost of trash service goes down. Also how much trash do you have if you need extra bins.

        • HR, the only people who will be who needing “additional waste containers to meet new guidelines” are the ones who are creating an excessive amount of trash and costing the town extra in trash pickup and disposal fees — so what is the problem with forcing those property owners to pay an additional one-time fee for their additional trash cart?

          The rest of the town is still stuck paying the extra disposal dump fees for the trash your theoretical excessive trash producers are discarding every week for the entire length of the contract, so paying an additional one-time fee for their extra trash cart that helps cover the dump fees for all their extra trash seems the least your excessive trash producers can do.

    • The Sahara has over 20 lakes. So I’m sure there’s some houses near one of them. They may not be what you consider a house, but still technically lakefront house.

  6. Will they have a service to move the bins from the house to the street for old folks that cannot (and should not) move them?

    We have our own 32 gallon bins now. My wife and I are 68. When there is lots of glass recycling in the 32 gallon bin I can just barely move it. My wife cannot move it even on a light recycling week. There’s no way we can manage a 96 gallon recycling bin on an every other week basis.

    What about old folks that have sloped driveways? If the slope is up to the road, forget it!

    What about Winter time with ice and snow on the driveway? We already have to be super careful not to fall at our age. You want us to attempt to haul a 96 gallon bin in treacherous conditions?

    I see trash handling accidents and maybe even lawsuits in North Smithfield’s future.

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