HomeBusinessDump your Trash, Not your Cash: The Great Transfer Station Showdown

Dump your Trash, Not your Cash: The Great Transfer Station Showdown

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As Hopkinton residents embark on their annual spring cleaning spree, many find themselves needing to dispose of trash that exceeds the capacity of their household garbage cans. This often necessitates a trip to a transfer station, commonly referred to as the “dump.” 

Most residents know of the E.L. Harvey transfer station at 68 Hopkinton Road in Westborough. Harvey also contracts with the Town of Hopkinton to provide municipal garbage and recycling services. 

But since the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvey has reduced their hours and raised their prices, much to the annoyance of residents in the towns they serve. Harvey is now open Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM and closed Saturday and Sunday. 

The Harvey recycling center, which was formerly open to Hopkinton residents on Saturday, appears to have intermittent hours, prompting this recent post from frustrated resident Geoff Richelew.

Reader Ed Harrow pointed out that “things have changed since Waste Connections acquired E.L. Harvey” in 2021.

The team at HopNews wanted to understand the pricing and availability of transfer stations in our area.

Transfer stations typically charge by the gross weight. They weigh the vehicle when inbound and weigh again when outbound, calculating the difference in weight and charging based on that number. 

For our test, we used a Ford F-350 SuperDuty that was filled to the brim with a mix of trash types. Our gross vehicle weight coming in was 9,040 lbs., and outbound 8,460 lbs., making the weight of our trash 580 lbs.

For any load under 2,000 lbs., or one ton in weight, Harvey charges a minimum of $250, and it then scales another $250 per additional ton. This can be a substantial cost, especially for residents with smaller loads. “Better get a big truck, and make sure it’s full,” said the attendant at the Harvey’s counter. 

But there is another, albeit lesser known option for Hopkinton residents. Tom Berkowitz Trucking, located at 279 Douglas Road in Whitinsville, offers a more economical solution to the problem of household waste. The minimum load price at Tom Berkowitz is just $40, with an additional charge of $120 per ton thereafter. For our test load, which was just over a quarter ton, the total cost was $70. As mentioned above, this would have cost $250 at Harvey.

Additionally, Tom Berkowitz is open on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, aligning better with those who prefer to do their chores on the weekend. 

Both facilities offer recycling for appliances such as A/C units, televisions, and computer monitors, but across the board it is less expensive to recycle at Tom Berkowitz than it is Harvey, who asks $50 to recycle any unit with Freon, for example.

While Tom Berkowitz Trucking is further away for some Hopkinton residents (a 20 minute drive versus 10 minute drive in our case), the cost savings can be significant. For those looking to manage their spring cleanup on a budget, Tom Berkowitz Trucking presents a compelling alternative to the higher prices at EL Harvey.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Recycling center was open last Saturday, it said it was closed the Saturday of MDW at the town of Hopkinton’s request

  2. Closing for Memorial Day weekend makes perfect sense. I do hope that this news article will spark a larger discussion over the need to improve and possibly expand the transfer facility to serve a growing population.

  3. Another good article, I learned of another (better) disposal option that I will definitely be using soon and was unaware of the Harvey sale. Thank you.

  4. And I complain about having to cough up $5 or $7, depending upon how full my truck is. Here in rural Arizona, the county staffs our transfer station. It is primitive. No scales. All done by eyeball. An earthen ramp to 3, 60 yard dumpsters. The next county south contracts with Waste Management. There you get weighed in and out, with a substantial fee just to think about going there. It is amazing how much waste humans create by just living day to day.

    Recycling is a proven hoax. I burn as much as I can.

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