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It’s time to let the Town know about your trash preferences

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Carbonale’s new single-hauler trash service doesn’t begin until October, but customers would be well served to pay attention now.

“The Town wants to be really thoughtful about rolling it out and making sure people are set up for success,” explained Bryana Starbuck, one of several folks brought in to educate residents during the roll-out.

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Those who haven’t selected a service level by the end of June will be automatically enrolled in medium trash and medium recycling. There will be a 60-day period in which one free service switch will be allowed. After that, there’s a small charge. After all, Starbuck pointed out, Mountain Waste and Recycling — the hauler that won the bid — doesn’t have an unlimited supply of each can size.

So far, just over 300 people have made their selection — and it’s proving to be a pretty efficient process.

“On average we’re seeing it take five minutes or less to fill out,” Starbuck said of the online form at carbondalegov.org/waste. “There are a lot of option, which can be overwhelming, but once people take a second, they realize it’s much easier than they thought.”

The options in question are combinations of three sizes of trash cans (32, 64 and 96 gallons) and two sizes of recycling cans (64 and 96 gallons, picked up every other week). The medium option for both runs $30.46 a month. Large for both brings you up to $51.52. The “super saver” option for every-other-week pickup for the smallest trash size that brings the bottom price point down to $13.84 a month. A full run-down is available at carbondalegov.org/trash and was also mailed to every address in town.

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Residents within city limits must select some level of service for both trash and recycling, although they’re welcome to contract with other companies for additional offerings like compost collection. Commercial customers and large apartment complexes will not be affected, and some Homeowners Associations have existing contracts which will be allowed to expire before the town policy applies.

Starbuck hasn’t heard too many complaints about the plan, at least after she’s had a chance to explain the intent — to reduce waste, wildlife impacts and truck traffic — and the process — which involved more than a year of conversation between trustees, staff, haulers and the community.

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“When we walk people through how we arrived at this point, they’re understanding,” she said. “I think overall people are able to find something that works for them”

The Town is working to address issues like leaf collection — the drop-off facility will be open longer to support the change. Folks who want to keep their own containers that may not conform to one of the standard sizes should contact the Town.

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“Bear-proof bins are an investment, and they’re also something we want people to continue using,” Starbuck noted.

Even folks who are content with the standard offering and have no questions should sign up to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Sample bins are in place at the Town Hall, and you can also call 510-1202 with questions.

“If you’re not sure, just reach out to the Town,” Starbuck said.

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