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I wanted to write in response to numerous concerns expressed about the quality of the bags utilized in Ashland's PAYT (Pay As You Throw) trash system. First I want to point out that unfortunately Ashland is not unique in this respect and is not the only Metrowest Community facing issues with bags (https://natick.wickedlocal.com/news/20190417/natick-resident-wants-improvement-in-faulty-trash-bags ). In April, representatives from the Town met with the manufacturers of the bags, WasteZero, to discuss our concerns with bag quality and more importantly how to ensure that the bag quality is consistently better. WasteZero has invested significant capital in their equipment to improve operations and we hope to see positive results. Another potential solution is to reduce the amount of recycled content that is used in making the bags, however that has environmental consequences as well so I would be interested in your feedback as to what you would prefer (less recycled content and better quality, or more recycled content and the risk of reduced quality). While we are appreciative of WasteZero's commitment to replacing defective bags free of charge, that process is both inconvenient to residents and the businesses that sell the bags.
Discussion about the bag quality also sometimes leads to questions about the Town's PAYT system. In response to both the bag quality concerns and the program in general, we've developed an FAQ which will hopefully help answer many questions and address any concerns. As always please feel free to contact either myself of DPW about concerns about trash.
-Michael Herbert, Town Manager