A Wellesley resident who moved into town a few years ago asked us recently why the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility isn’t open most Sundays (“I can’t tell you the amount of head-scratching and consternation this single issue causes for all new residents. This is so hard for households with two working parents,”).
Our recall on this issue was fuzzy, so we asked Gordon Martin, RDF superintendent, for clarification on the matter:
In 1997, the RDF first opened on Sundays after the RDF Improvement Project was completed. The facility was open 7 days a week until July of 2005. The DPW reduced the number of days the RDF was open because of budget cuts.
Now, we are open only 6 Sundays a year for the busy Fall season. There have been no recent talks that I know of about re-opening on Sundays, but I’m sure some would love it. There’s no doubt in my mind that if we were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, residents would come in all throughout the day and night.
The last time I looked at the numbers, the cost of opening on Sundays was about $50,000 a year. It may actually be a little higher now because of inflation.
Martin added that the Department of Public Works supported Sunday hours, but that residents in 2006 voted against an override to fund this (funding for school expenses was approved, but not for branch libraries or RDF Sunday hours).
If you’re wondering if closing the RDF on a weekday and opening it on Sundays has ever been considered, the answer is Yes. But shipping recyclables during the week is big business for the town, which is conveniently located near highways and has favorable trucking operation rules, and it was determined that regularly closing on a weekday would be bad for business.
David Blossom says
I am glad that the question of the RDF Sunday hours has reappeared. After waiting ti exit on Saturday’s in a line of cars going back past the book area it would be great to spread the crowds to Sunday’s as well. The annual cost is approx $50,000 as you stated which is approx only $2 per resident (based on 25,000 residents). It amazed me that this didn’t pass years ago considering the small annual cost per resident. I hope that this issue comes back on the drawing board.
I agree with the other commenter. If you had an option for an annual surcharge, perhaps the Sunday service could be funding by selling Sunday access dump stickers at $20 each/year (or some other figure)? I know I’d buy one and I bet the program would be popular if you tied the fee to the use.