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Castleton Residents: Vote to Stay in Rutland County Solid Waste District at Town Meeting Day
Vote “No” on Article 44 for the Town of Castleton to remain a member of Rutland County Solid Waste District.
If the Town of Castleton leaves the Rutland County Solid Waste District (RCSWD) as a member town, it would owe at least $28,000 in lease liabilities as a proportional share of the investments that have been made for our disposal infrastructure. Additionally, leaving RCSWD would forgo a share in the $350,000 in assets owned by the district.
RCSWD provides the following services directly for Castleton residents and other member towns: household hazardous waste collection, education surrounding proper disposal and Vermont policies such as the Universal Recycling Law, representation of district towns with regard to Vermont State legislation. Residents of RCSWD member towns receive a $30 discount on annual permits for the Regional Transfer Station at Gleason Road in Rutland.
According to 24 V.S.A. § 2202a, “Municipalities are responsible for the management and regulation of the storage, collection, processing, and disposal of solid wastes within their jurisdiction in conformance with the State Solid Waste Management Plan authorized under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159.” RCSWD provides the administration and creates a plan to satisfy those requirements. If Castleton were to leave the list of member towns, it would be necessary to join another Solid Waste District, or to create a plan and report on the provision of services and education surrounding proper disposal of all kinds.
The option for Castleton to join another Solid Waste District may have a higher charge than that of being a part of the RCSWD member towns. This is because RCSWD charges for membership based on a per ton basis of disposal, instead of a per capita (population) charge. Switching to a per capita charge will result in higher property taxes to fund the membership.
For a municipality to follow through with a Solid Waste Implementation Plan requires significant quarterly and yearly reporting, as well as the coordination of storage, pickups, and disposal of many different categories of waste. At RCSWD, we provide 9 full-time and several part-time staff to accomplish this for towns of which Castleton represents 10% of the population. These tasks are not easily added to Town Office staff, who already have plenty of work to do.
For more information, please contact the Rutland County Solid Waste District: (802) 775-7209.
Rutland County Solid Waste District Annual Report – Calendar Year 2017
The Rutland County Solid Waste District offers a variety of solid waste, recycling, waste education, household hazardous waste, composting and administrative support programs for our seventeen member municipalities. Some services are also available to non-District communities on a fee for service basis. In addition, the District operates a regional drop-off center and transfer station at Gleason Road in Rutland City. District program, facility and rate information is now available on our web site, www.rcswd.com.
Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP): The District complied with all the ACT 148 requirements and was able to have their SWIP Plan approved of in August of 2015. The SWIP meets the requirements of the State’s Material Management Plan and delineates how solid and hazardous waste will be managed in the District towns for a five year period. The District started to contact local businesses informing them about recycling composting and hazardous waste and the programs that we offer. The District will also be working with local schools on many of these same issues over the next few years.
Waste Disposal: During 2017, residents and businesses in our member municipalities disposed of approximately 34,000 tons of municipal solid waste; nearly all of this was through the District’s master disposal contract with Casella Waste Management. The cost of disposal, handling and transportation from the District Transfer Station at Gleason Road to the landfill was $83.13 per ton. State taxes, district surcharge and the Rutland City Host Community Fee totaled $26.97, for a final disposal cost of $110.10 per ton.
Recycling: The District owns a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), recycling center in Rutland City that is leased to Casella Waste Management for their operations. The MRF accepts seventeen recyclable commodities from transfer stations, commercial haulers and large generators for processing and sale for re-use. The facility currently receives approximately 35,000 tons of recyclables a year. The MRF had switched over to zero-sort in November of 2011. The equipment is designed to handle up to 15 tons an hour with the capability
of expansion overtime. As part of this process, the facility can now take plastics #3 through #7.
Household Hazardous Waste: Rutland County Solid Waste District operates an extensive Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program for district residents. The program operates year-round from the Gleason Road facility, and scheduled collections at twenty town transfer stations through the spring, summer and fall. The HHW program collects and safely disposes of dozens of hazardous, flammable and toxic materials, anti-freeze, pesticides, used motor oil, asbestos, and fluorescent tubes, In 2017 we shipped out 26,570 gallons of HHW. The District also collects electronic waste in 2017 we shipped out 301,546 pounds.
In July of 2014 the District started accepting latex paint as per the new Paint Care Recycling Program. Several local paint stores and hardware stores started accepting it as well. This has been very popular through 2017.
Other Programs: The District also offered other waste management, education and reduction programs, including construction and demolition waste, clean wood and composting. The District is continuing with its “Merry Mulch” program in collecting and processing over 1,200 Christmas trees annually. The District also has been working with and providing recycling materials or information to various local organizations including the Rutland Master Gardener’s Club, the Rutland Dismas House, Rutland Neighborhood Program, Vermont Southwestern Council on Aging, Rutland Hospital, Rutland Women’s Network & Shelter, the Rutland County Humane Society and the College of St. Josephs specifically on composting programs.
In 2017 the District also sponsored the Conservation Field Day/Science at the Hatchery with the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District (RNRCD) and assisted in promoting their seedling tree and bush planting program.
Transfer Station Changes
This applies for residents that dispose of items at the Regional Transfer Station on Gleason Road. Household Hazardous Waste disposal will only be available at the Gleason Road Transfer Station for people that purchase permits. Additionally, without a permit, fees will be higher for every program except recyclables, some electronics, white goods, and scrap metal, which are free for everyone. These changes went into effect on January 1, 2018.
Permits can be purchased in-person at the transfer station scale house or household recycling center Mon – Fri from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, or at our office by the Casella Recycling Facility Mon – Fri from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Permits can also be renewed by mail (send to 2 Greens Hill Ln, Rutland VT, 05701) if you are a 2017 permit holder and received our letter.
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Last Updated: 16-01-2018 12:38
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Last Updated: 03-01-2018 22:21
International Waste Crises
If you heard about “China’s Green Sword” lately, that is a reference to the campaign against contaminated bales of materials that are imported to China from various countries with single-stream (aka zero-sort) recycling. A policy is under review of the World Trade Organization that would significantly reduce imports of many solid waste materials such as plastics and paper. According to Waste360, “China took in roughly 25 percent of US recycled paper exports in 2016 and anywhere between 20 percent and 33 percent of recycled plastic, depending on the type of plastic.”
Already, expectations of costs rising have influenced what recycling facilities can sell materials for. With such a large portion of the market predicted to be rejected, the bales of materials are in surplus and will only sell for very cheap prices. In some cases, the transportation costs are higher than the value of the bales, which results in inadequate disposal of recyclables in the landfill. In turn, recycling facilities must raise the cost of collecting the recyclables. In Vermont, recyclables are required to be free to dispose of by residents, so that cost falls on the towns and solid waste management entities that pay for the removal of recyclables. Businesses that pay for their own recyclables to be hauled away may see an increase in that cost as well.
The main purpose in creating this ban is to reduce the amount of poor-quality materials that contaminate bales from going into landfills in China. They also plan to increase their own recycling rates, since only 2-3 percent of waste is recycled in China. The best way to avoid trashing all these recyclables is to decrease excessive consumption and poor material management on the production of goods. Then by increasing sorting and recycling in the United States, there will be a more efficient closed-loop economy.
Vermont Waste Reduction Initiatives
While there may be some international setbacks to materials management, Vermont is constantly moving forward to help conserve resources and turn “waste” into useful products. Earlier this year, there was a bill introduced to the Vermont General Assembly that would ban the provision of single-use carryout bags at stores. Instead, stores will be able to offer reusable or compostable bags at a cost. This bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife, and reviewed with testimonials four times in 2017. If passed during the upcoming legislative session, the ban would go into effect on July 1, 2018.
This year also marked a milestone for Act 148, the Universal Recycling Law that was passed in 2012. On July 1, 2017, all transfer stations in Vermont were required to begin collecting food scraps from residents. In Rutland County, most transfer stations have absorbed the cost and began offering food scrap collection for free. Some transfer stations, such as the Rutland Regional Transfer Station, have a minimal charge of $0.20 cents per gallon. The scraps are delivered to a compost facility near Bennington, or an anaerobic digester in Bridport, VT, depending on which hauler collects from the transfer station. Residents have been using this service, and it is still gaining momentum with the amounts of food being recycled. On July 1, 2018, the requirement is that all trash and recycling haulers will also collect food scraps from residents. This is up for debate within the legislation, so ask your hauler if they will collect food scraps next summer.
While some materials are still going to the landfill, there’s a lot we can all do personally to reduce the strain on our resources and promote efficiency in this industry. You can stay up to date by visiting the Rutland County Solid Waste District website or contacting us at (802) 775-7209. Have some happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
What Happened at Rutland County Solid Waste District?
The kids at Lothrop really appreciated our visit! We talked about how to reduce our waste, what is recyclable and compostable, conducted a waste audit and let’s not forget their favorite part! Vermicomposting!! They loved holding the worms and naming all of them. #solidwaste #compost#recycling#foodscraps #vermicomposting #schoolvisit #munincipalsolidwaste #worms
Do you know how much trash you individually produce every week? “Trek Your Trash” is a great way to evaluate how much stuff you put in the landfill. This can give you an idea of what type of material makes up the majority of your trash, which will display the best ways to cut down on costs and environmental impact. You might find some clever ways to reuse items in your bag too.
If there is a lot of trash at first, don’t be disheartened. Our linear disposal system is not easy to go against. By Trekking Your Trash, you are taking a huge step towards changing that system and your lifestyle!
•All of the non-recyclable, non-compostable garbage that you personally generate is to be added to the bag.
•If an item can be recycled it can be disposed of in an appropriate recycling receptacle, however you must carry around the material until such a receptacle can be found.
•Likewise with compostable garbage – if you have a way to properly dispose of compostables, you need only carry them around until you can put them in the compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile, now might be an excellent time to start one.
•You do NOT have to collect cat or dog excrement or soiled materials such as toilet paper and used tissue.
•If there is something with a strong odor, you may put it into a Ziplock bag, then place it in your garbage bag.
•You must collect trash from work, home, and leisure activities.
•If you live in a household with other people, you need only carry your fair “share” of shared waste.
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Last Updated: 05-12-2017 16:18