The “extra small” 35-gallon plastic garbage totes will soon be available to residents in the Town of Cheektowaga.
Town leaders, after undertaking additional study and consulting with town residents, acquiesced to citizens’ demands for the smallest receptacles, which could be available as early as the end of next week, according to Supervisor Mary F. Holtz.
“We listened to the public,” Holtz announced at the end of Monday’s meeting of the Town Board. “There will be 35-gallon totes that should be available after March 15.”
Complaints from some area residents over maneuvering and storing the town’s 65- and 95-gallon receptacles resonated with Cheektowaga leaders, according to Holtz and Councilman Gerald P. Kaminski, the Town Board’s liaison to the Sanitation Department.
“It was one of the things Mary and I figured we had to add,” said Kaminski, explaining that he was swayed after visiting with some residents in the Hickory Grove patio homes subdivision and witnessing the lack of garage space for the larger totes. “It seemed to be a problem.”
Residents, specifically those in Hickory Grove, are required by neighborhood covenant to house their garbage receptacles inside. The larger totes, many argued before the board, were simply too big to fit in their garage with their vehicles.
The town transitioned to a tote program in mid-December. The large 95-gallon totes were distributed townwide, with a few exceptions for 65-gallon receptacles. The Sanitation Department, since then, has been taking orders from hundreds of residents requesting to swap their large totes for a scaled-down variety.
As of late Tuesday, upward of 700 residents already have requested the smallest tote, Kaminski estimated.
“Nothing’s ever set in stone,” said Kaminski. “We’re learning, too. I listen to the people – you’ve got to.”
Those residents interested in the smaller containers – either 35 or 65 gallons – should contact either Holtz’s office at 686-3465 or the Sanitation Department at 686-3426.
Meanwhile, with the transition to trash totes now nearly fully implemented, officials announced that the town will be moving ahead with phasing in a companion tote recycling program.
The town, officials said, may pursue offering 95-gallon containers townwide in order to encourage residents to recycle more of their cardboard, plastic, metal and glass. The recycling program, when fully implemented, is expected to drastically reduce the volume of trash tonnage in the town, reducing its overall sanitation costs.
“Recycling saves money,” added Holtz, who expects the first recycling totes to be rolling out as early as this fall.