Despite the everyday “humdrum” of the solid waste business….which is not humdrum at all if you work in the business, we find ourselves achieving laudable milestones and making headlines. These articles do a nice job showcasing the range of services that we provide while highlighting some of the challenges wrapped into the day-to-day practices of the responsibilities of a solid waste district. Please take a minute to read all about us!
The Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District will be making some changes at the Stowe Transfer Station very soon. Containers will be available to recycle cardboard boxes separate from the rest of your recyclables, similar to the glass program that has been available as an option for the past year. The items and equipment to start this program will be partially funded through a grant received from the Department of Environmental Conservation. The overall purpose of this grant is to support infrastructure that will improve the efficient collection and management of household food scraps, and/or mandatory recyclables. “The cost avoidance realized through the source-separation and on-site baling of high value materials is sure to benefit not only our operations but also District members in the future.” stated District Manager, Susan Alexander when asked about the program and grant support.
Baler that will be used to compact recyclable items into marketable cubes.
In addition to expanding the way recyclables are collected at the Stowe Transfer Station, funds from this $61,800 grant will also be used for infrastructure and pad improvements at the Lamoille Soil commercial composting facility which has been converting food scraps into compost since 2017. Over 350 tons of food scraps have been diverted from the landfill and fed to local soils as almost 300 cubic yards of compost over that time. The LRSWMD is required to provide a 60% match for the total cost of the projects at these locations. In total, the grant projects will be just over $154,000.
Pad work completed at Lamoille Soil commercial composting facility in Johnson. After 4 1/2 years and 350 tons of food, it needed a little reinforcement.
The mission of the LRSWMD is to reduce the quantity and toxicity of the amount of trash being generated and sent to the landfill while maintaining or improving overall environmental quality (air, water, and soil), treating customers and employees with respect, and operating within a balanced budget. District member towns include: Belvidere, Cambridge, Craftsbury, Eden, Elmore, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, Waterville, Wolcott, and Worcester. Contact the LRSWMD office at 802.888.7317 or visit us at www.lrswmd.org for more information.
It’s Saturday morning, and your car is loaded with recycling, food scraps, and trash to take your local drop-off station. When you pull up to the scale house, you see a familiar face greeting you. Perhaps they even toss your dog a treat before you proceed to the drop-off. This has become a routine weekly, maybe bi-weekly, event for many of you in the community.
I come from a town that does not offer curbside recycling pick-up, and very few, if not any, of my neighbors in my hometown recycle items. There was no concept of compost, and all of our waste essentially ended up in the landfill. Managing waste was kept private, with all of our waste being shrouded in bags and cans until the garbage crew showed up in the wee hours of the morning to take it away. When I moved to Morrisville, I came with fresh eyes. I had never seen a drop-off station set up quite like the District’s before. The Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District’s drop-off stations have created a safe, inviting, hub for customers to drop-off their household waste. Some customers choose to walk to the drop-off, some drive, some show up on bike; some celebrated having reduced their amount of trash from the weeks prior, others exchanged ideas with one another of how to reuse before recycling. It was as if so many of the customers were not hiding their waste habits, but sharing them with another- and rallying together to reduce it. While exploring the stations, I listened closely to the concerns, comments, and inquiries that were brought to the site attendants. There were praising comments regarding the improved accessibility to trash and food scrap drop-off at Morrisville, inquiries regarding what items should be recycled and what items should not, and concerns about trash loading at Craftsbury.
The world of waste management is ever-changing, and at the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste District, we work hard to make smooth transitions and provide an experience for all customers of our facilities that is simple, affordable, and demystifies waste management. Being a transfer station novice, I got to fully experience these service sites through a new customer’s eyes. There is a unique relationship that exists between the site attendants and the community members, and to experience the conversations that take place between all of you was as much refreshing as inspiring. I see the drop-off stations as serving a critical role in our community, a place where the exchange of waste is representative of some much deeper interchanges that occur.