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Trash collector picks up slack with new Weston recycling program

onion barn

—Kimberly Donnelly photo

With the Onion Barn in Weston Center off limits to sports teams that used to collect bottles and cans there to benefit the Weston Boosters Club, the club has had to look elsewhere to raise funds. Thanks to a suggestion by one parent, a Ridgefield trash collection company has come to the rescue.

Instead of hauling recyclables and returnable bottles and cans to the Onion Barn, where sports teams used to volunteer on Saturday mornings to collect them and turn them into cash, now it’s as simple as signing up for recycling and garbage pickup with Ness Industries.

Nick Carusso, vice president of Ness, said the company will contribute $2.50 per month for every customer from Weston that signs up for the program.

The program was the idea of Eric Tyson, whose kids used to participate at the Onion Barn bottle and can collection for the Boosters Club. Mr. Tyson said he never felt comfortable having kids at the Onion Barn, which was eventually deemed off limits in order to repair its crumbling foundation and rickety roof.

And, Mr. Tyson said, he didn’t think it was particularly convenient for people to bring their returnables there. “I actually figured out that we all waste more on gas money with kids and parents driving to these ‘Booster Barn’ volunteer shifts than Boosters realizes in recycling fees,” he said.

So he recently contacted his local garbage company, Ness Industries, and it agreed to help out.

Mr. Carusso said they have about 10 people signed up for the Boosters program so far, and he has received very positive feedback. Ness will make a donation to Boosters about every six months, based on the number of Weston customers signed up — and, Mr. Carusso said, they have already donated “above and beyond” the promised $2.50 per customer per month.

The advantages of the program are many. Residents have an easy way to donate to the Boosters Club; the club gets donations without having to spend volunteer hours at the Onion Barn; recyclable materials are disposed of properly; and Ness Industries gets some new business.

“We’ve been wanting to expand into Weston anyway, and we are really happy to help out the local sports teams — our kids play sports, too, so we know how important it is,” Mr. Carusso said.

Ness offers single-stream recycling (all recycling may be combined in one container, provided by Ness) and driveway service for garbage and recycling pickup.

Those interested may sign up by calling Ness at 203-739-5004 or visiting ness-industries.com.

Onion Barn work

As for the Onion Barn, Town Administrator Tom Landry reports most of the structural repair work to the town landmark is completed — a sill was replaced, a broken corner post was fixed, a broken beam was repaired, and cabling has been removed. Still to do is the more extensive step of fixing the roof.

Mr. Landry said the contractor said materials for the roof work were ordered about two weeks ago. Mr. Landry did not have an estimated end date for the approximately $10,000 project, which was originally slated to be completed last October. Weather has been a main factor in the delay.

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