September 13, 2017 BCSWA Meeting Minutes
Town Representatives: Keith Squires (Arlington), Stu Hurd (Bennington), Tom Shuey (Pownal), Suzie dePeyster (Sandgate), Sandy Gaszek (Searsburg), Dave Kiernan (Shaftsbury), Nancy Bushika (Stamford), Steve Bendix (Sunderland), Mike Charette (Woodford)
Not in Attendance: Rob Gaiotti (Dorset), Ricky Harrington (Glastenbury), John O’Keefe (Manchester), Mark Lourie (Rupert)
BCRC Staff: Michael S. Batcher
Location and Time: Arlington Town Hall – 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Public in Attendance: No members of the public attended
Introductions: Keith called the meeting to order at 4:03 PM
Approval of the Minutes of April 5, 2017: Stu Hurd moved and Steve Bendix seconded a motion to approve the minutes of April 5, 2017. The resolution was adopted unanimously.
BCRC 2016 Report and Proposed 2018 to 2019 Budget: Michael briefly reviewed the report summarizing activities of BCRC under the contract with the Alliance for the period July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. BCRC hired the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) for outreach and they had been busy meeting with businesses and schools. He then reviewed the budget for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, which was only slightly higher than the current year. Keith asked why there were funds substantially beyond the current contracted amount. Michael explained that he had left the options in the budget for 1) creating a textile facility if needed and 2) exploring a permanent HHW facility. He explained that there was little likelihood of needing a textile facility but that the group might want to develop a permanent facility. Steve Bendix was concerned that it would be too expensive to operate. Michael explained that Clean Harbors was working on a proposal and that he advised keeping that item in the budget. He said the Board could decide whether or not to go ahead with the project when they considered the new contract with BCRC that he would be providing for 2018 to 2019 in the spring of 2018. Following that discussion, Stu Hurd moved and Sandy Gaszek seconded a motion to approve the budget, and the motion carried unanimously.
Pay-As-You-Throw Ordinance: At the April meeting, Trevor Mance and Marybeth McGuire of TAM had talked about the problems of quarterly reporting and the due dates for those reports required in the pay as you throw ordinances adopted by the towns. In general, it can take a month or more to get the data for the report, and the pay as you throw ordinance require a report within two weeks of the end of a quarter. They asked if 1) they could have more time, 2) could they send reports to Michael instead of the individual towns. It turns out that only TAM has been providing any reports. Based on that, Michael suggested amending the pay-as-you throw (PAYT) ordinance for each town to eliminate the reporting requirement, and used the Arlington ordinance as an example as the language was the same for all towns, but sometimes in different sections. Haulers would still need to register with individual towns. This has been a problem as well, but is necessary to have the haulers assure they are complying with the PAYT requirement. The group agreed to pursue the necessary change but asked that Michael provide a public hearing notice draft.
Universal Recycling Law Discussion: Michael summarized a series of discussions that have been taking place in various meetings on potential changes to the Universal Recycling Law. This past year, the legislature modified the law to require haulers to offer curbside pickup of organics in 2018 instead of 2017 as had originally been required. He passed out a sheet with the following questions being contemplated by the Vermont Solid Waste District Managers:
- Shall the VSWDMA support the elimination of the hauler requirement to collect organics
Shall the VSWDMA support the elimination of the hauler requirement to collect residential organics, except in areas where density of residential housing units exceeds 250 per square mile?
- Shall the VSWDMA support the amendment of 10 VSA 6602 (and/or other sections, as required) to clarify the policy that “fast trash” locations are considered solid waste facilities for the purpose of collecting organics?
- Shall the VSWDMA support maintaining the 2020 landfill ban on organics?
These were to be discussed the next (September 14, 2017) day at the managers meeting, and Michael requested guidance. Michael described the issues as follows:
- Haulers would need to retrofit their vehicles to collect organics or do a separate pickup and both the costs of retrofitting and additional travel were prohibitively expensive. So, haulers were objecting to being required to offer curbside pickup.
- In areas where the population was sparsely settled, which was all of the BCSWA service area except parts of Bennington, the expense of curbside pickup would be greater due to additional travel distance and the paucity of customers.
- Providing curbside pickup, along with trash and recycling, would make it easier for residents to dispose of these materials properly and the largest amount, by weight, of solid waste going to landfills is food scraps.
The group discussed the questions posed by the solid waste district managers and concluded the following:
- The hauler requirement should be eliminated as it would be too expensive for all but the largest haulers to retrofit their vehicles. However, commercial generators of 18 tons/week and greater should still be offered service and required to divert materials.
- The group was unfamiliar with the concept of fast trash, which Michael explained. IN essence, a hauler sets up a truck at a location at a specified time and accepts trash and recyclables, just like a transfer station. There is no requirement for facility certification as this is not a permanent location, but offers the same services and convenience to residents. So, why not include organics, just as is required of transfer stations? The group saw the merit in requiring organic pickup at fast trash locations, but did not see the application of that kind of service for the BCSWA area. Stu had mentioned that it was tried in Bennington, but nobody used it so it was discontinued.
- They felt the landfill ban should be eliminated as unenforceable.
Other Items: Michael reminded the group that the next HHW event was on September 30th at the Dorset School, and he asked for help at the event. Keith Squires and Tom Shuey said they could help.
Michael encouraged Bennington, Arlington, Manchester, Dorset, Sandgate and Sunderland to work with Casella to accept food scraps for free as that was the current policy for Pownal, Searsburg, Shaftsbury and Stamford. He was asked to set up a meeting with Randy Dapron to discuss that, and Suzie asked if we could look into having a “dump” day to collect bulky items and appliances as the costs for collection at the transfer stations was becoming prohibitively expensive.
He also asked about collection of construction and demolition debris at the transfer stations. VT ANR was encouraging more recycling of C and D. Trevor Mance had told Michael that he could recycle C and D if the requirement for recycling expanded the distance from the current 20 miles to 40 miles so that Manchester would be included. Recycling is much more expensive than landfilling. By 2020, we would need a facility to recycle asphalt shingles. The group asked Michael to discuss that with TAM.
Michael described the workshops held in the spring to teach residents how to compost. Those who attended a workshop received a compost bin for half price through a VT ANR grant. Michael asked if the group would support pay that amount if on grant was available to further encourage compost bin sales. The group supported that for 2018.
The Solid Waste Alliance Communities or SWAC had asked if Pawlet could participate in our Dorset event in the fall of 2018 with the stipulation they would pay their share at the same rate as the BCSWA towns. The group approved that for 2018.
Michael had been approached by the Composting Association of Vermont to support the Bennington Community Garden in accepting food scraps for composting from members and neighbors. CAV had requested $2500 which would also allow the garden to receive funding for composting equipment. Stu Hurd expressed concern over allowing composting in a dense neighborhood. The group agreed to support community gardening, but only in sparsely settled areas of the BCSWA service area.
Next Meeting and Adjournment: Michael asked if the group could move to three meetings per year and they agreed. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 14, 2017 at 4:00 PM with the location to be determined. Stu Hurd moved and Steve Bendix seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting and the resolution was adopted unanimously.