Pilot program: Transfer station opens two Sundays

The Milford Transfer Station is a busy place. Not only do weekly trash pickups go there, but commercial contractors pay to bring items there and residents, too, often go to the transfer station to dump household garbage, recyclables and yard waste.

The transfer station at 755 Oronoque Road is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, closed for lunch from noon to 12:30, and open on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon or 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. between April and November.

Now the city is toying with the idea of keeping the transfer station open some Sundays.

The transfer station will be open this Sunday, Aug. 21, and next Sunday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Milford  residents as a test to see if people take advantage of the added hours.

“Busy residents will have an extra chance to get rid of unwanted items in their homes and yards,” city officials said in announcing the special hours.

The Sunday hours are for Milford residents only. No commercial haulers will be allowed.

“It’s a pilot program to see the interest of residents,” said Public Works Director Chris Saley. “People have said they work Monday to Friday, they work on Saturdays, and by the time they get home they’re a little tired and they don’t really feel like rushing down to get rid of some of their recycling and other yard waste.”

Most people wait for their weekly trash and alternate week recycling pickups to get rid of household waste and recyclables, but there are still many people who like to clear out those items before their pickup day.

Saley said often after a weekend party or picnic people may have more trash than usual and not want to keep it hanging around for a week.

Todd Carichner, weigh master at the transfer station, said he sees quite a few residents coming through on a daily basis.

“They bring household garbage, stuff they don’t want laying around until the next pick-up, and bulk items,” Carichner said.

“A lot of interesting things come across the scale,” he added.

The transfer station has separate areas for household garbage, metals, yard waste, cardboard, newspapers, bottles and cans, large appliances and smaller electronic items, like televisions.

There is no cost for residents who bring trash in a passenger car. In a pickup truck or work van, residents pay $5 for up to 400 pounds, plus four cents for every pound over that.

“A man brought 260 pounds of grass cuttings the other day, and the cost to leave it here was $5,” Saley said.

Keeping the transfer station open on an occasional Sunday could create savings in other areas: Saley said there’s a chance there will be less bulk trash for city crews to pick up during the twice yearly bulk trash pickups. The next bulk pickup starts in September: People with Monday pickups will have their bulk collected Sept. 12; Tuesday residents, Sept. 19; Thursday residents, Sept. 26, and people with Friday trash pickups, Oct. 3.

Saley said if there is interest this Sunday and next, he may ask the mayor to consider opening the transfer station one Sunday a month during the summer, or more.

The city is in the process of making some improvements at the transfer station, for example putting a new roof on the transfer station barn — the large enclosure where traditional garbage is dumped before being hauled away.

Saley said he’s also looking into setting up an enclosed area for a “swap shop,” where people can leave things that other people may want — like furniture, lawn mowers and other things that aren’t really trash.

Mayor Ben Blake said there have been cost savings associated with streamlining in other areas of municipal waste, and he said that is helping to fund the trial Sunday hours.

He didn’t say if he would support regular Sunday hours, but said the city is focused “on providing excellent services to its residents.”