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Updated: New Trash Barrel Rules Starting Jan. 1

The town health director updated selectmen Wednesday on a 3-barrel limit on trash pick-up effective Jan. 1.

Barrels must be secured with tight-fitting lids to prevent animals from dispersing garbage and creating a health hazard.

The town is looking into the wholesale purchase of lids for resale to residents who need them, said Health Director Andrew Petty.

The new rules were enacted by the Marblehead Board of Health on Oct. 30.

The Board of Health notice listing conditions for the new regulations states the barrels shall be standard size. Those not exceeding 35 gallons and weighing not more than 50 pounds when filled or 65 gallon-wheeled-toters weighing not more than 50 pounds when filled.

The town will educate residents about the new barrel regulations with fliers, postings, visits and other means, the director said.

Violations are not subject to fines.

Getting use to the new rules will take time and education.

"It's going to be a big adjustment," the health director said.

carrie weisenfeld December 12, 2013 at 07:46 AM
use lids on top of the barrels? that's a joke...when I've done that in the past I've lost them to the wind somewhere down the street as the garbage men never put them back on the barrels...this is a really bad idea, there will be random lids all over town and residents without lids!
Andrew Savage December 12, 2013 at 08:17 AM
Did they define the size a barrel can be?
Terry Date (Editor) December 12, 2013 at 08:32 AM
We added that information to the article, Andrew.
Rick Thornton December 12, 2013 at 08:41 AM
Suppose you have not used barrels in the past. Are we now required to use them? I assume this in no way affects recycle bins.
John Buba December 12, 2013 at 09:41 AM
Can someone ask why we needed this new regulation? What problem is it solving? Have these folks nothing better to do than think up new stuff to regulate? If it ain't broke then don't fix it.
Patricia Coggins December 12, 2013 at 04:10 PM
This is foolish. Most of us started out with covers on our barrels. They broke, blew down the street or the company that picks up our trash threw them somewhere. I'm sure that if an animal got into our trash, we would clean it up. I will not buy new barrels just for covers that will soon be somewhere else or broken. Is there no better issue to for the Selectmen to consider than this ridiculous proposal? People are going hungry...the issue sure beats rubbish barrel covers any day. My opinion only.
Reasoning December 12, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Surely this is a joke? Someone tell them Aprils Fools day is in April. I guess we'll just take April out of the equation and leave the word fools!!!!!!
Drew December 12, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Rats people, large rats. This why they are doing it. If you are out early in the morning in old town, you have seen them.
J.B December 12, 2013 at 09:08 PM
@Patricia Coggins- I know it seems only natural that you'd pick up trash if an animal got into your barrel but a lot of people don't pick up the trash when an animal gets into it.
The Voice of Reason December 26, 2013 at 09:33 AM
What about trash bags used in lieu of trash barrels ?
Terry Date (Editor) December 26, 2013 at 01:07 PM
We will ask these questions, including yours, Voice of Reason, when the town health director returns from vacation on Monday. The we will post them in an update.
J.B December 28, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Animals rip open the trash bags, even when double bagged and odor blocker bags are used.
The Voice of Reason December 29, 2013 at 02:30 PM
J.B.- Are you referring to the people that put out inferior quality trash bags (you get what you pay for) the evening before pick-up ? I have been putting my trash out the morning of pick-up using .0028 ml LLDPE HEXENE trash liners and have had zero compromise.
The Voice of Reason December 29, 2013 at 02:44 PM
If you are interested in purchasing trash bags that repels animals I suggest you check out a company called MINTX (www.mint-x.com) They truly work and are sold in our area at the Home Depot in Salem.
J.B January 02, 2014 at 04:12 PM
The Voice of Reason- I'm not sure what my neighbors use. I use Glad Forceflex odor blocking ones. We have very talented racoons and skunks in our neighborhood, who can open almost any lid. They get lids off and tear bags apart. I now only put my food trash out before morning pick up. Thanks for the bag information. I'll definitely try them.
Missy Scarlet January 02, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Trash has to be on the street by 7 AM on pick up days. If you put your trash out in the morning within a reasonable time of pickup, it probably doesn't matter what kind of bags you use or if you cover your barrels. If you put bags or uncovered barrels out overnight, no matter what kind they are, critters might get into them. If you must leave trash on the street for hours, then you might need barrels with secure covers. Animals are pretty savvy: have you noticed how many "squirrel-proof" bird feeders are totally incapable of keeping those little guys out? We co-exist with wildlife-thank goodness-so we do need to work with that. If our trash is "vandalized" by hungry critters, it is on us to clean it up-not the sanitation workers. I think most people know this. For those that don't, leave their trash in front of their homes. They'll get the message pretty quick. If they don't, perhaps a fine will do the trick-the money being put to control rats where they are a problem.

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