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Allenstown prepares for trash collection changes

ALLENSTOWN — Allenstown officials have contracted with a new waste disposal company, which takes over the responsibility in early September.

A few months ago, selectmen decided to limit curbside trash pickup in town, based on recommendations from a 2013 study and public input. Selectmen approved the changes to the town’s Solid Waste Ordinance, effective May 31. The modifications dictate that the town is no longer offering curbside trash and recyclable pickup to apartment buildings with four or more units. Previously, the service was provided to residential buildings with up to six units.

Casella Waste has already started delivering 96-gallon trash and recyclable containers to each residential unit that is eligible for curbside collection, said Town Administrator Shaun Mulholland.

Mulholland said it’s imperative that residents don’t use the containers before Sept. 8, when Casella begins picking up trash and recyclables. Waste will only be collected on Mondays going forward, unless a holiday falls on a Monday, in which case collection takes place Tuesday.“Right now, our highway department handles trash pickup, and we’re talking about three people in a garbage truck and two other guys in a smaller truck for smaller streets, so we may have five guys out there picking up trash at any given time over a three-day period,” said Mulholland. “Casella picks everything up in one truck in one day.”

Though the town stands to save at least $37,000 in the next year alone, and likely hundreds of thousands over the course of the 10-year contract with Casella, Mulholland said the one downside is a full-time employee has to be laid off as of Sept. 1. The town’s trash truck, however, is on its last leg and the town’s agreement with the Concord trash co-op expires in December, realities that spurred the town to take immediate action.

Impacted residents who live on a town or state road, or those who live in apartment or condo buildings with less than four units, are instructed to leave the new containers roadside prior to 7 a.m. on collection day. Because Casella uses an automated process to empty its containers, Mulholland said all waste must be placed in the proper container.

“A robotic arm is used to pick up the containers, so any trash left outside those containers won’t be picked up,” he said.

Items that don’t fit in a container may be brought to the town’s transfer station, said Mulholland. Yard waste, he noted will still be collected by the highway department or be may dropped off at the transfer station.

Residents with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Casella at 800-445-1318 or the Allenstown Highway Department, 485-4276, ext. 150 or 151. Road Agent Ronnie Pelissier may be contacted via email at

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