TOWNSEND — Local residents will need to pay more money to have town workers take certain reusable items off of their hands.
As of Jan. 1, the Townsend Recycling Center has higher fees for the removal of certain items. Health Administrator Carla Hitzenbuhler said last month that the Board of Health made the decision during its meeting on Nov. 30 after planning the fee increase for about a year.
Hitzenbuhler explained this is the first time the center is raising the fees in a decade and its tied to the coronavirus pandemic causing many residents to work from home.
“We’re so busy with everyone staying home and the market changing, we need changes to the fees to be self-sufficient,” she explained. “Everyone is throwing away their exercise equipment for new stuff, so we have their big bulky equipment to deal with. We had one gentleman who said he can’t stay in the usual limit because he’s home all the time.”
The prices for accepting certain items have increased by $5. Exercise equipment, for instance, now costs $10 to be accepted at the center.
Extra-large bulky equipment costs $30 to be accepted at the center while small bulky equipment costs $15.
Items including car batteries, grills, electric lawn equipment, small metal and small plastic pieces cost $10 for the center to accept.
Other items including computer monitors, couches, large refrigerators and medium plastic pieces cost $20 for the center to accept.
The most expensive fee charged by the Recycling Center is for nonresidents needing a truck to remove debris, which costs $105.
“We’re not trying to just make money off of people, but the recycling center has no budget and we have to pay employee salaries, fees and maintenance costs,” Hitzenbuhler said.
The Recycling Center will be open every first and third Saturday of the month this year.