Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is the recycle container emptied into the same truck as the trash container?
Willimantic Waste Paper began using a split body truck in 2014. There are two compartments on the truck – one for trash and the other for recyclables.  After the trash container is emptied, the trash compartment is closed to allow the contents from the recycle container to empty into its compartment. The truck driver from inside the cab changes the position of the chute on the top of the truck to direct waste and recyclables to their correct compartments. When the truck is full, the trash and recyclables are emptied at Willimantic Waste Paper. Trash is delivered to one of the Connecticut’s trash incinerators and the recyclables are sorted for market at Willimantic Waste Paper. Both trash and recyclables are weighed separately at the time of delivery and reported each month to the Town. From this information, single-family residents with collection service have consistently recycled 37% of their waste. 

Does the Town provide bulky waste collection?
No, we do not because of the expense. You can either bring bulky waste to the transfer station for $30 per cubic yard or make arrangements with a commercial hauler: Willimantic Waste Paper, 860.423.4527 is a local company. Examples of bulky waste are shingles, porcelain sinks, sofas, bricks, ceramic tiles, wallboard and mattresses. Certain oversized trash items may be collected with trash service. As long as the items are small enough to fit in the trash truck, not recyclable, yet burnable (all trash is incinerated), they can be collected curbside. For oversized trash items, you need to either stay within your service level or use extra bag tags. Extra bag tags can be purchased at the Town Hall for $4.00 per tag. You will need one extra bag tag for each additional 30-35 gallon bag of trash, or for oversized trash such as carpet, padding and futons, use one extra bag tag for every 50 square feet of material.

What happens if I miss trash collection one week?
Contact the Town at 860-429-3333 or waltonvd@mansfieldct.org. We will make sure you get double your service level collected the following week. You may take the extra trash to the transfer station.

Can I put extra recyclables, such as large pieces of cardboard, next to my recycle container for pickup?
On occasion you can put extra recyclables in either paper bags, boxes or other receptacles next to the recycle container. Realize that the service is automated, which means the recycle container will be reloaded after it is emptied. Large cardboard needs to be flattened and cut down to a size that will fit into the recycle container. If you continually have an overflow of recyclables, you may get an additional recycle container, which is an additional $6.20 per month.

What happens if my trash or recycle container breaks or wears out?
Contact the Town at 860-429-3333 or waltonvd@mansfieldct.org to make arrangements to have it replaced.

Can leaves be collected curbside?
No. They may be taken to the Town transfer station, for no charge, where they will be composted. The finished compost is available to residents.

Why do we pay to get rid of trash in Mansfield?
The Solid Waste Advisory Committee (minutes and agendas) wanted to promote conservation through producing less waste and recycling. In 1990 the Mansfield Solid Waste Ordinance was adopted that supports the “pay-as-you-throw” philosophy. Through refuse fees, residents are given the incentive to produce less waste by recycling more. The less trash you produce, the less you pay. Gradually all solid waste-related expenses were taken out of the general fund. Since the mid 1990s the refuse fees collected (and some fees for recycling) must meet the costs for disposal and recycling. If your trash bill is too high, look at what you are throwing out – is any of it recyclable as listed in the brochure? Are you composting food scraps? What are your purchasing practices – are you buying a lot of packaging and then turning around and paying to dispose of it? Changes in the way you purchase, how much you recycle and whether you compost or not will directly affect your trash bill.

I have collection service – how do I handle extra trash?
If extra trash is sporadic, then you can purchase extra bag tags for $4.00 per tag. Tie one tag onto an extra 30-35 gallon bag, and it will be collected. Extra bag tags can be purchased at the Town Hall in the Revenue of Collector's office, located at 4 South Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT. Some residents take their extra trash to the transfer station. For the transfer station location and hours go to www.mansfieldct.gov/transfer-station. The cost is $4.00  per 30-35 gallon bag. Once a year in December, the Town offers unlimited household trash pick-up. This does not include bulky waste items. The notice about unlimited pick-up is posted on the website and included with the quarterly bills.

How do I handle extra trash if I am moving in or moving out?
If you are moving in, you may want to start with a higher trash service level. Once a normal routine is established, you can reduce your service by calling us at 860.429.3333. There is a $10 fee to make a change in service level. The other option is to purchase extra bag tags for $4.00  per tag. Tie one tag onto an extra 30-35 gallon bag, and it will be collected. Some residents take their extra trash to the transfer station. The cost is $4.00  per 30-35  gallon bag.

If you are moving out, you may sign-up for a higher trash service level by calling us at 860.429.3333. The other option is to purchase extra bag tags for $4.00  per tag. Tie one tag onto an extra 30-35 gallon bag, and it will be collected. Some residents elect to take their extra trash to the transfer station. The cost is $4.00  per 30-35 gallon bag.

What is automated collection service?
Automated trash collection allows the truck driver to empty the carts into the truck using the truck's mechanical arm instead of manually lifting the carts.

Do I buy the carts?
No, the carts belong to the trash company. When you cancel service, they will be returned to them.

What if my cart is stolen?
You will be charged $100 to replace the container. To prevent theft, remove the carts soon after collection. Store them in a protected area.

Can I put recyclables in plastic bags?
No. Plastic bags are considered a contaminant at Willimantic Waste Paper, where our recyclables are sorted and shipped to various product markets. The plastic bags have to be manually removed from the other recyclables, otherwise they can get caught in the sorting equipment causing a shut down of the operation.

How do I dispose of shredded paper?
Shredded paper can be recycled by bringing it to the transfer station where there is a container just for shredded paper. Please do not place shredded paper in the curbside recycle cart.

How do I recycle plastic grocery bags?
Price Chopper accepts plastic grocery bags for recycling. There is a container for plastic bags at the transfer station. Consider keeping a few reusable canvas grocery bags in your car and using them when you shop.

We can recycle paperboard milk cartons and drink boxes, why not other types of plastic-coated cardboard, like ice cream boxes or margarine boxes?
The answer lies with how these products are made. Drink boxes, milk and juice cartons are made out of paper with a thin plastic film on top. The plastic layer contains all the dyes of the label; underneath is clean, bleached cardboard. Frozen dinner entrees, ice cream boxes, butter boxes and other plastic coated cardboard packaging have the dyes applied to the cardboard and a clear plastic seal on top. In order to recycle the paper, the dyes need to be removed (“de-inked”) making it less desirable for the paper manufacturer. Because the paper from cartons and drink boxes is free of dyes, there is no de-inking needed, saving one step in the process.

Why can’t I recycle pizza boxes?
You can - but just the box – not leftover pizza. The paper we contribute for recycling will be made into new paper. Food waste mixed in with any recyclable item is considered a contaminant, degrading the quality of the paper. Flatten and turn the pizza box inside out so the recycler can see that it is cardboard free of cheese, pizza slices and oil. If the box is too soiled with grease it can always be composted (with the uneaten slices of pizza).