Why Wellesley RDF is closed most Sundays

Wellesley RDF compost mountain, june 2013A 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.

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