Solid Waste Task Force: Draft Minutes of 1/3/11


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Solid Waste Task Force: Draft Minutes of 1/3/11

  1. 1. CITY OF NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS Solid Waste Reduction and Management Task ForceMeeting MinutesMeeting Date: Monday January 3, 2011Committee Members Present: (All present except Terry Culhane), Board of Public Works; MarkCarmien, Citizen; Wendy Foxmyn, Citizen and Task Force Chair; Marianne LaBarge, Ward 6 Councilor;David Narkewicz, At-Large City Councilor, Council President; Mimi Odgers, Citizen, Water Not Waste;Donna Salloom, Board of Health; Rosemary Schmidt, Board of Public Works; David Starr, Citizen,GREEN NorthamptonStaff Present: Jim Laurila, City Engineer ; Karen Bouquillon, Solid Waste Supervisor; David Veleta,Assistant Environmental Engineer; Arlene Miller, Massachusetts Department of EnvironmentalProtection, Municipal Assistance CoordinatorOthers Present: Richard Carnall of Duseau Trucking; Mary Sikora of Recycling Research Institute andconsultant to Valley Recycling/Duseau Trucking; Gene Tacy, City Councilor, Ward 7; Ruthy Woodringof Pedal People; Michael Bardsley, citizen; Richard Guzowski, citizen and Chair of 1989 RecyclingCommittee; Roger Guzowski, Five College Recycling Coordinator and citizen; and Craig Odgers; citizen,“filmed” meeting for internet posting.The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Wendy Foxmyn.Public CommentRichard Guzowski introduced himself as the Chair of Northampton’s Recycling Committee in 1989.They considered curbside services 21 years ago, but decided against it. He described the bag stickers asunique and “tear-able”. The goal was to reduce trash and accommodate residents who generate less andhave lower incomes. He stated that carts (whatever their capacity) will get filled up, and some residentswill see their costs go up. In reference to a comment that Terry Culhane had made at the 12/6/10meeting that maintaining a drop-off facility only at the DPW wasn’t an option, he felt that taking thisposition was premature. He noted the distinctions between transfer stations, drop-off centers andrecycling centers. He mentioned the City’s Mandatory Recycling ordinance allowed for a $300 fine andquestioned if anyone has been fined in the 20+ years that it has been on the books. He referred to theCity’s Ordinance Article II Section 272-18, saying that funds should be available to construct a newfacility at the MassHighway site (note: a link to this reference has been posted on the Task Force’s website). Heasked that the report prepared by Smith College students in 2007 be posted on the Task Force website.Agenda ReviewThe agenda posted on the website was updated to include a discussion of hauler presentations, and theorder of business was re-arranged so the discussion of options and costs would be taken up last.Acceptance of 12/06/10 MinutesThe minutes from the December 6, 2010 meeting of the Task Force were reviewed. Arlene Miller madethree modifications, and Mimi Odgers made one modification. The minutes were not approved becauseseveral Task Force members had not had an opportunity to review them. Marianne LaBarge suggestedthat the meeting be recorded to assist with the preparation of minutes. Note: the agendas, minutes and allresources distributed to the Task Force are posted on the Solid Waste Reduction & Management Task Force website
  2. 2. at The Task Force also has a Google Group at Waste/Recycling Haulers PresentationsDavid Starr: It was surprising how little recycling education haulers are providing. Does this mean thateducation is the City’s responsibility? We may need to take a closer look at what the City allocates forrecycling education.Jim Laurila: Haulers make a concerted effort to provide education and outreach whenever collectionsystems change.M. LaBarge: The importance of education is nothing new…we’ve been hearing about the need for moreoutreach to apartment dwellers for a long time now and the haulers haven’t taken responsibility.M. Odgers: Wanted more information about RecycleBank…incentives, ability to donate credits toschools, tie-ins with local businesses, etc.A. Miller: RecycleBank is not free…communities pay for the service. It doesn’t work as well as it isportrayed. Single stream/automated curbside recycling must be in place, because the recyclables areweighed and tracked. It’s expensive, and some communities in eastern Massachusetts are dissatisfiedwith the program. RecycleBank is only offered to residents, not businesses. The results depend on wherethe community is starting from….are increases in participation and capture rate due to increasedcapacity and program changes other than RecycleBank? There will be a Municipal RecyclingCoordinator (MRC) meeting on February 1st, and the program will present results from various solidwaste collection programs that propose to reduce waste in MA, including RecycleBank.Donna Salloom: Someone she knows in Southbridge MA has told her residents have reported having avery a poor experience with RecycleBank.David Narkewicz: Wanted more information about Valley Recycling, and whether they will accept morematerials for recycling than the Springfield MRF.Richard Carnall: The facility already had a site assignment from the 1980’s, so a minor permitmodification was necessary (to DBA Valley Recycling). It is now fully permitted; the Authorization toOperate (ATO) has been received. By the end of January, it will be open to residents on Saturdays only.By next summer, it will be open 6 days/week. A Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) system will be used;decisions about permits have not been made yet. The materials accepted for recycling are market-dependent; there has to be demand for a material before it can be accepted. Sometimes we pay to movea material to market; this makes sense when the cost to recycle is less than disposal.M. Carmien: Expressed concern about clamshells and other plastics that are not currently recyclable, andthe confusion about the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) codes. There is a lot of frustration out therewhen residents are told to throw these plastics away. It reflects badly on the City and the SpringfieldMRF.Mary Sikora: She introduced herself (associated with the Recycling Research Institute, works as aconsultant for Valley Recycling and Duseau Trucking). Education is a key issue. New solutions aredeveloping, and Valley Recycling will use new markets as they become available. There are advances insorting processes that are adding value to plastics labeled 1,2,3…recyclability is a marketplace issue.There is a lot of innovation occurring in the US.Roe Schmidt: Markets do change, but it can be a problem if they are here today and gone tomorrow.R. Guzowski: Offered to give a layman’s presentation about plastics recycling to the Task Force. The SPIcodes were devised only to identify resin types, they have nothing to do with recyclability. 2
  3. 3. D. Starr: Duseau Trucking is incentivized to recycle as much as possible. Consumers continue to buynon-recyclable containers. Extended producer responsibility can transfer the cost of disposal to themanufacturer; in Japan and German manufacturers are redesigning packaging to be recyclable.A. Miller: The Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) Advisory Board doesn’t tell the MRFoperator where to market materials. The SPI codes need to be revised; whether or not a plastic can berecycled is a chemistry thing. A common collection model is to accept plastics #1-#7 merely to capturemore of the #1’s and #2s. Then, people get angry when they find out that not all of the plastics that arecollected get recycled.Review Brainstorming items, add items, prioritizeA handout was distributed that summarized the concepts brainstormed at the 11/5/10 Task Forcemeeting. W. Foxmyn asked the group to add items and prioritize the list.J. Laurila: It’s important to keep these value-oriented goals in the back of your mind when discussingcosts.R. Schmidt: Single haulers vs. multiple haulers systems have implications on local haulers, costs. Needmore information about franchising.D. Starr: Wanted information about how other communities handle residents who opt out.A. Miller: When reviewing the list, everything seems to add up to PAYT…reducing waste, reducingcosts for residents, affecting consumption habits, etc. Unit-based pricing (PAYT) should be a priority.D. Starr: There are a lot of interconnections. The Task Force needs to recognize how the different factorsare related. PAYT can be accomplished in many ways…bag stickers at a drop-off center, different sizetotes at the curb.M. Carmien: Be careful with jargon: there is a disconnect when the term “pay as you throw” is appliedto different kinds of systems. Recycling and composting should be free.J. Laurila: Trash disposal costs should be like a water utility, where your bill reflects your use.M. LaBarge: Are we talking about being told where to purchase trash bags? This has caused a hugeoutcry in the past.M. Odgers: Requested information about the City’s food waste collection program, in the form of areport at the next Task Force meeting.D. Starr: The City has also sold more than 6,000 backyard composting bins.D. Salloom: More education is needed about backyard composting…how to avoid vermin…educationwould make it easier to do it right.R. Guzowski: There’s an ordinance on the books that requires the use of garbage disposals.J. Laurila: From a public health perspective, any system must be simple and easy to use because the Cityhas a very diverse population. Opting out is a critical factor. Access to facilities, ease of use,affordability, multiple options to fit different needs, [etc.] must be taken into consideration.M. Odgers: All residential trash collected in Northampton is going to the City’s landfill…she tried to finda way to send her trash somewhere else and couldn’t. Residents can do whatever they want; there’s nosystem in place to address how residents manage their waste. Who is not accounted for?M. Carmien: Expanding access is important. There are a lot of residents (mostly apartment dwellers)without cars. 3
  4. 4. Karen Bouquillon: When the DPW obtained data from haulers about the number of 1-4 dwelling unitsthey served a few years ago, 20% of households could not be accounted for. These outliers weren’tnecessarily dumping trash in the meadows…they’re bringing it to work, sharing a service with aneighbor or family member, using the downtown pedestrian barrels and other illicit disposal methods.M. LaBarge: Illegal dumping has always been a problem in Ward 6.Discussion of drop-off and curbside systems: options & costsTwo handouts were distributed about solid waste collection alternatives and household cost estimates J.Laurila spoke about how the handouts were developed, including some of the assumptions that wereused in order to determine the per household costs on the table. He noted these were possible scenarios,nothing was set in stone. He explained that the use of bags as a unit of measure was only used todevelop values for each option. The table was developed using recent data, using household trashgeneration examples from Stantec’s Solid Waste Alternatives Study. He described Option #1 as “statusquo”, and reviewed what the costs might look like for a senior household, a 2-person household and a 4-person household. A. Miller asked for some clarification, and requested another “status quo” scenariobe developed using current rather than projected costs. When reviewing option #3, he explained that atransfer station operating for residents who chose to opt out would be more expensive to operate (whencompared to current operations) because it would be serving fewer users. He pointed out the costs forOptions #1 and #2 were developed using senior discounts, but #3 did not. R. Schmidt noted some costsreflected bi-weekly service vs. weekly service, and some trash volumes were estimates per week vs. permonth. J. Laurila noted the costs were developed with the assumption every household would receive a64-gallon cart for trash, and use PAYT bags for any excess.A. Miller contended using 64-gallon carts is not considered to be unit-based pricing. Automatedcollection with totes can be combined with unit-based pricing by offering smaller containers and otherfinancial incentives to reduce waste. DEP’s experience is that disposal costs will decrease 20%-40% whenunit-based pricing is introduced. DEP uses a 40-gallon maximum for their unit-based pricing models. InLongmeadow, households are given up to 40-gallons/week capacity and only 10% use overflow bags.South Hadley will be using PAYT bags (without requiring barrels or carts) exclusively effective July 1 J.Laurila asserted that 64-gallon carts were used to develop the scenarios to take multiple factors intoconsideration- ease of use, equitable access, public health concerns, etc., and that changing the size of thetote would not affect the overall costs very much. D. Narkewicz wanted to know what sizes of totes areavailable, and R. Guzowski said that most are in the range of 30-, 40-, 60- and 90-gallons.M. Odgers stated the Task Force had not agreed on what the role of the City might be, so the next agendashould include a discussion about the group’s vision concerning what the City should be doing inregards to solid waste management. She also asked for discussion about dates for community forums.A. Miller distributed a handout about zero waste.Future Agenda items, Meeting location, datesThe next meeting will be held in the JFK Community Room on Monday, January 10 at 6:30pm. Futuremeetings will be held on 1/31/11, 2/7/11, and 2/28/11 at 6:30pm. Public meeting dates have not beenscheduled at this time. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.(These meeting minutes were prepared by Karen Bouquillon based on hand written notes taken during themeeting and reviewed/edited by Chair Foxmyn. Meeting attendees are asked to review this summary tomake sure it is an accurate reflection of meeting discussions. The minutes can be amended per vote of thecommittee members.) 4