UPDATED: Automated Trash & Recycling Collection

New Trash & Recycling Carts

UPDATE (Friday, December 1): Cart delivery is underway and is taking longer than anticipated. The distribution company is sending out extra crews to work through the weekend and all of next week. Automated collection and new collection routes will begin on Monday, December 4. Begin using your new carts for your next scheduled collection day. If you have not yet received a cart, continue to use your old bins or bags until your carts arrive. If you have not received a cart by Monday, December 11, please contact Public Works at 781-3919.

Automated collection and new collection routes will begin on December 4. Begin using your carts immediately upon receipt for your next regularly scheduled pick up day. Find new collection schedule here. Find Casella's Informational Brochure here.

Find more information and answers to frequently asked questions  here.

Find our Fact Sheet here.

Automated Collection

Beginning in late November/early December, Falmouth will transition to an automated waste collection system. Like many communities in Southern Maine, Falmouth contracts with Casella Waste Systems for residential curbside trash and recycling collection. Casella is now moving to an automated collection system which requires use of Town-owned trash and recycling carts along its routes. All communities contracting with Casella are required to transition to the new automated system. No other waste hauler in the region offers rear loading collection.

Automated collection requires specialized trucks with an automated side loader. From inside the truck, the driver controls a mechanical arm which grabs the trash or recycling cart and dumps it into the truck. These automated trucks save time, labor costs, and are generally safer for employees. For communities, there is an initial expense involved in this transition: namely the purchase of new trash and recycling carts for every residence. These new carts are specifically created to function with the automated trucks’ mechanical arm. For Falmouth, this means approximately 10,000 carts are needed to provide every residence with both a trash and recycling cart. 

New Carts

Falmouth worked with neighboring communities in a joint bid process to purchase new trash and recycling carts. The Town awarded a contract to Toter, an industry leader, who offered a local representative for on-site assistance and high-quality stackable, fully recyclable carts, composed of up to 50% recycled content. The 64-gallon carts have wheels for easy maneuvering and attached lids to keep trash and recyclables dry and secure. Falmouth was fortunate to receive a grant of $25,000 from The Recycling Partnership to fund a portion of the needed recycling carts. The grant will also cover the costs of some educational and outreach materials related to the transition. The Town will rely on uncommitted fund balances to pay for the remainder of the carts. Residents will not be charged for carts and their purchase will have no impact on the mil rate. The total cost to the Town is approximately $600,000. Carts are assigned to each residence and should remain with the property. 

Cart Delivery & Implementation

A trash cart and a recycling cart will be delivered to residents’ homes beginning Monday, November 27.  Distribution to all residences could take up to two weeks. Automated collection and the new collection route schedule will begin on Monday, December 4. Residents should begin using the new carts immediately upon receipt for their next scheduled trash collection. Note, some routes have changed. Find the new collection schedule here. Additional information on new routes and cart placement will be included in a packet attached to the carts upon distribution. Carts will be distributed by collection routes. For example, Monday collection routes will begin receiving their carts on Monday, November 27. Tuesday collection routes will receive their carts once all Monday carts are distributed, and so on. If for some reason you have not received your cart by your scheduled collection date during the week of December 4, continue to use your old trash and recycling bins. However, going forward, you must use the new carts to participate in curbside collection service in Falmouth.  

Route Changes

As part of this transition, Casella will add an additional collection day (Monday) to Falmouth’s collection schedule. As a result, collection days will change for some residents. The new collection schedule can be found here. The new schedule and routes will also be listed in the information packet attached to the carts upon delivery. The new collection schedule will be implemented beginning December 4.

Yellow Trash Bags

Falmouth will continue its “Pay As You Throw” (PAYT) waste disposal fee structure. Yellow bags are still required for trash disposal. Recycling should be placed directly into the new recycling carts and not in a bag. Everything must be placed in the cart for collection. Additional bags, bins, or broken-down boxes sitting next to the carts cannot be collected. Additional trash and recycling should be held for the following week or brought to the Transfer station during opening hours.

Old Trash Cans/Bins

Once you receive the new carts you are welcome to bring your old ones to the Transfer Station on Woods Road for recycling. Bins in good shape will be put to use elsewhere. Alternatively, you can use your old bins for additional storage (firewood/kindling, CLYNK, wrapping paper/holiday decor, toys, sports equipment, brush). Click here to learn about converting your old trash can into a compost bin. 

Information Packets

Information packets will be attached to the carts upon delivery. Please be sure to carefully read the informational materials provided. This will help ensure a smooth transition to automated collection. The Town of Falmouth worked with our partners at Casella and The Recycling Project to find a sustainable way to secure informational packets to the carts. Unfortunately, as many communities before us have discovered, the best way to keep the information from falling into the cart, getting wet, or blowing away is to include it in a plastic bag. These bags can be recycled at facilities who offer this service. You can bring your bag to Town Hall and we will recycle it at the correct facility for you. Alternatively you can return these plastic bags to these merchants who will recycle them for you. Learn more about recycling plastic bags here.

Back Down Roads

If you live on a back down street (click here for routes, streets with asterisks are back down streets) Casella is unable to turnaround on your road because it is too narrow or a deadend.  Therefore, the truck must back down the entire length of the road. As a result, all carts must be located on the same side of the road for collection. The automatic arm of the truck is located on the passenger side of the vehicle, so carts must be placed on the right side of the road--that is the driver's right/passenger side as they back down the road or your right as you exit your street. 

Opting Out

You may choose to bring your trash and recycling to the Transfer Station rather than participate in curbside services. Trash must be in a yellow Town trash bag and your vehicle must have a Transfer Station sticker. Call Public Works at 207-781-3919 to opt out.

More information

Find more information and answers to frequently asked questions at:  https://www.falmouthme.org/public-works-department/pages/automated-trash-recycling-collection

The Town will provide additional information regarding cart delivery and the implementation of the new collection system via its website, E-Alerts, social media sites, newsletter, direct mailings, and Forecaster ads. Residents are strongly encouraged to subscribe to News & Announcements E-Alerts to receive the most up-to-date information regarding this transition. Subscribe at: www.falmouthme.org/subscribe