Council OKs free landfill loads

Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

Spring clean up is already well underway, but city officials are hopeful that Newcastle residents will be motivated to spruce things up even more if they can haul off a load or two of trash at no cost this summer.


As a result, city residents will be able to make two free dumps at the landfill, one in June and one in September, when they present their paid water bill. At its May 1 meeting, the Newcastle City Council approved the free dumps to encourage the public to clean up their properties, thereby cleaning up the city as a whole. 


“I just feel like it’s spring and everyone is ready to get after it, … I think, and said, many times, Newcastle is the dirtiest I have seen it in a long time. I don’t want to be on a council with that kind of reputation,” said Councilwoman Ann McColley in kicking off the conversation. 


The longtime council member noted that she was not sure how the council should address the problem, but acknowledged that past city officials — including former mayor and clerk-treasurer Greg James — did not think the city should use free dump days to encourage community clean up. 


Greg Stumpff, the city’s public works supervisor, said he had been thinking about redeeming city water bills for free dumps at the landfill. The city had previously allowed free loads at the landfill on a year-round basis, but the practice was discontinued several years ago. 


He said that another option for citywide cleanup is the use of roll-off dumpsters placed in neighborhoods across the city. Stumpff said that the problem with the roll-offs, however, is that people will hoard items instead of hauling them to the dump regularly throughout the year. 


“With the dumpsters, you are looking at six to seven hours of work. You are looking at an expense,” he added, noting that the use of roll-off dumpsters ties up city employees. 


McColley was undeterred, and reiterated that the City Council should do something to promote pride in the community. 


“There is no pride anymore; we have to clean up,” she said, and Mayor Pam Gualtieri indicated that she liked the idea of allowing free loads at the landfill to encourage residents to clean up their property. 


Stumpff then proposed that the city implement June and September as the months when a free load at the dump would be granted to residents who pay for city water. 


“I just think it is our duty. We have to take pride in the town,” McColley said in moving to approve the free dump days, which were then approved by the council.

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