New Trash Bins Headed For East Shore

Thomas MacMillan Photo.New brown 48-gallon trash Toters will appear on the front lawns of East Shore homes Saturday as the neighborhood becomes the latest to join a city-wide effort to boost recycling.

City officials announced that news Wednesday in front of the Morris Cove fire station on Townsend Avenue in the East Shore.

The bins come as the city seeks to expand recycling pick-up on the Friday collection route, which runs through the East Shore and part of Fair Haven. People living there will get brown Toters this weekend to put their trash in. They’ll start using the old, larger blue Toters for their recycling.

The switch is aimed at increasing city recycling rates, saving the city money and keeping more trash out of landfills. Neighborhoods covered by the Monday and Tuesday trash pick-up routes—Westville and Newhallville/East Rock, respectively—have already made the switch. The last two of the weekly routes—Wednesday and Thursday—will follow this fall and next spring.

John Prokop, director of the Department of Public Works, said his staff will be distributing 5,700 brown Toters this weekend. The city saves $106 for each ton of waste diverted from trash to recycling, he said. If the city meets a goal of recycling 30 percent of municipal waste, that could add up to $1 million in savings, Prokop said.

Christine Eppstein Tang, director of the Office of Sustainability, said each new brown Toter comes with a letter telling people how to use it properly. Teens with the Youth@Work summer job program have also been canvassing the neighborhood to prepare residents for the switch, she said.

Prokop said trash collectors will be watching closely during the first couple of weeks to make sure people are complying with the new paradigm. If not, they’ll get a doorknocker with information about which Toter they should put trash in and which to put recycling in. Within three to four weeks, the route will be up to 80 percent compliance, Prokop said.

It’s hard to get to a compliance rate higher than 80 percent, mostly because New Haven has such a transient population and people don’t always know the system, Prokop said.

The overall goal is to get to 30 percent recycling rate city-wide by the end of next year, Tang said. Switching to big recycling Toters has tended to give a big boost to neighborhood recycling rates, she said. Westville is up to between 25 and 32 percent recycling; the Tuesday route is at about 20 percent; all other parts of the city are still below 10 percent, Tang said.

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posted by: Ora on August 3, 2011  4:57pm

This is good very good. We will eventually be saving money for the taxpayers. The question I have is why are we pay this Tang and the young man with her such nice salaries to repeat or state what John Prokop can state to residents. Save through recycling and waste through unnecessary personnel. Argh,very tiring for myself and all the other taxpayers. All these new departments, employees and deputies. Ridiculous.

posted by: still waitin' on August 3, 2011  5:00pm

How ‘bout the Heights?! Make us next, the runners-up, pretty please? I am tired of toting 2 bins, plus all my paper and cardboard! Plus some of my neighbors need some prodding….

posted by: robn on August 3, 2011  6:17pm

Just some of East Rock has new toters…not all.

Interesting that Westville had a 10% recycling rate, got their toters during last August, and then went to 30% in May (2% per month). If they’ve crept up another 2% in the last two months (1% per month) it might mean they’re peaking. In the May 23rd NHI article on this subject, the city stated that they expect to get to 58% in the next decade. How are we going to do this if the best behaved neighborhood in the city is already peaking?

posted by: Christine Eppstein Tang on August 3, 2011  6:31pm

Fair Haven Heights will also receive the new toters this week. For more information on the single-stream recycling program, including a list of recyclable items, please see

posted by: Disgusted on August 3, 2011  7:02pm

I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to fit all my “trash” in the brown toter when it doesn’t fit in the blue one. A household with 4 people have that much “trash” in 1 week. Just more wasteful spending of tax $$$$$.

posted by: Lincoln Robertson on August 3, 2011  8:03pm

Two photo opps in one day on the Independent web site. I’m really impressed after such a long absence, Mr Mayor. This is a good one in front of the fire house. Are you inviting the firefighters to re-cycle their settlement checks back to city hall, or are you hinting some of the firefighters are about to be recycled? Pity you weren’t around last week to explain why the tax payers were being hosed so badly by the settlement. That’s politics, I guess.

posted by: Willie on August 4, 2011  7:58am

The city must of paid for the bins with the money they think they are gonna make with the 82 people who received bills for the bulk trash violations notices—-this city is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by: cove resident on August 4, 2011  9:39am

how come no one did a story on the bulk trash violations that we received???? come on Independent we are counting on you!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by: robn on August 4, 2011  10:36am


If you pay close attention (and teach your family to pay close attention) to your waste stream (what can be recycled and what can’t) you’ll find the toters adequate. If you’re not paying attention, you’re simply not being a responsible modern citizen (local or global). Consider it in another way; if you returned 19th century methods of waste disposal, burning it or burying it in your backyard, you’d certainly pay close attention and do everything you could to reduce waste…becuase it would be in your immediate obvious best self interest.

posted by: James on August 4, 2011  11:32am

I’m in a family of 4, and between composting and recycling we barely produce 1 bag of trash a week. Then again, I actively try to avoid waste.. but that’s just me.

posted by: Morris Cover on August 4, 2011  1:35pm

This sounds a little backwards what happens if you already recycle and fill your large BLUE bin with trash .Now i have a smaller trash bin and a large recycle bin .Sounds a little ass backwards.

posted by: James on August 4, 2011  3:31pm

Morris Cover.. the idea is to get people to recycle more. I know plenty of people who end up throwing out things that can recycle because that blue bin in entirely to small.

Seriously, if you are filling up that blue bin with trash every week there has to be things you can do differently to reduce the amount of waste you’re producing.

Somewhere in the city’s god awful web page is a list of what you can / can’t recycle. Start there.. if you can, to get an idea on how you might be able to put some stuff in the other bin.

posted by: SaveMoneyAndReduceTrash on August 4, 2011  6:02pm

In many cities and towns in Mass. and now in CT they’re requiring residents to pay for what they throw away—meaning those that recycle more, compost, make smart purchasing decisions and thus throw away less save more money for themselves and the town.  Even non-believers are saving by recycling.
Did I mention their trash cans (or bags) are smaller than New Haven’s hefty brown tote?  The City of Malden now recovers 75% of their trash.
This system seems fair and equitable - why should I have to pay for someone else’s trash - someone who is breaking the law and costing our City more money!  Looking forward to getting the new containers.

posted by: Mike on August 5, 2011  8:45am

I cant wait. I do think they should ask people to rinse out the old blue trash cans though.

I would love to know how this system is working so far in neighborhoods that have overflowing garbage cans and no recycling whatsoever.

posted by: Dave Baker on August 6, 2011  10:59am

Okay, I’m not too clear on the math either, but:

LIDS!  Bins with LIDS = LESS LITTER!  Hallelujah!

posted by: dumpster diver on August 18, 2011  9:35pm

Question for all….......if there is a viloation and items are not recycled then the fine is $200.00.  how will I know I an getting billed?