There are several questions about curbside trash collection and recycling on the agenda for the upcoming Town Meeting (March 2, 6:30 p.m.), about which many people may have questions. Here’s an explanation of what’s behind these questions, prepared by Bob Spencer, Executive Director, Windham Solid Waste Management District:
ARTICLE 12: Shall the Town continue to provide curbside trash collection (Pay-As-You-Throw)?
The Town issued a request for proposals in November 2019 and received just one bid for all trash and recycling services, from Triple T Trucking, the current hauler. Triple T’s proposal is estimated to cost the Town $148,186 from July 2020 through June 2021. If approved by Town meeting the Town will enter into a 3-year contract with Triple T, which includes annual cost increases. Currently, the Town does not have a contract with Triple T so there is no guarantee of the costs of their services, another reason the Town issued the RFP, to lock in costs for trash and recycling services over a 3-year period.
In accordance with the proposed contract, Triple T’s charges will increase by $22,500 in the first year due to increased costs of recycling.
Vernon, Brattleboro, and Westminster are the only towns in Windham County that provide curbside trash and recycling services. Such programs are required to use Pay-As-You-Throw for trash.
If the Town does not provide residential trash and recycling services, as in Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, and other towns that don’t have their own transfer station, residents have the following options:
- Hire a private hauler to collect trash and recycling.
- Self-haul to Windham Solid Waste Management District, purchase an annual access sticker for $40 (effective July 1), and pay $3/bag of trash, and free recycling/composting. Single day pass is $15. Located at 327 Old Ferry Rd., Brattleboro. 257-0272. www.windhamsolidwaste.org.
- Self-haul to Brattleboro Salvage (Triple T) transfer station. Call 254-5388 for fees. Located at 437 Vernon Rd., Brattleboro. tttvt.com
ARTICLE 13: If the Town votes NO on ARTICLE 12, Shall the voters authorize the town to dissolve the Pay-As-You-Throw Fund and cover negative expenditure from the Solid Waste Fund up to $8,000.00?
If the Town decides to discontinue trash and recycling collection, the Pay-As-You-Throw Fund will no longer be needed.
ARTICLE 14: Shall the Town continue curbside recycling?
The Town could continue to provide curbside recycling without curbside trash. However, the Town is not allowed to provide curbside trash collection without curbside recycling in accordance with Vermont Act 148, Universal Recycling law.
ARTICLE 15: Shall the voters appropriate $108,000.00 for municipal building refuse, curbside recycling and compost recycling to be raised by taxes to fund the previously established “Solid Waste Fund”?
If the Town votes to continue curbside recycling, the estimated annual cost will be $91,466, plus the cost of trash and recycling collection at municipal buildings.
ARTICLE 16: Shall the voters appropriate $14,518.00 for the Windham Solid Waste District Assessment to be raised by taxes to fund the previously established “Solid Waste Fund”?
As a member of WSWMD the Town is assessed an annual fee, which in FY 21 will be $14,518.00. This cost has decreased the past 3 years from $19,197 in FY 19, to $15,162.00 in FY 20. The Town is obligated to pay this annual assessment unless it officially withdraws from WSWMD, which would take 2 years in accordance with the WSWMD charter from the State of Vermont. Due to significant state mandates, particularly providing two household hazardous waste collection events per year, most towns decide to remain members of WSWMD rather than provide the mandated services on their own.