Topics: Recycling and Solid Waste

CHATHAM — Plans are now in place for the long-awaited renovation of the town's trash transfer station and recycling center. But given the financial uncertainties caused by COVID-19, selectmen last week said they'd like to see a scaled-down project rather than the $4.3 million renovation that they pursued earlier. Selectmen heard a brief presentation from DPW Director Tom Temple, who argued that the disposal ar...

Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Fees Escalate

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The lack of landfill space and other means of disposing of municipal solid waste in Massachusetts is having a major financial impact on communities. That was made perfectly clear Monday night when selectmen approved two one-year contracts with per-ton rate increases of nearly $20. “Recycling markets have degenerated and we have more trash than we have outlets,” DPW Director Lincoln Hooper told select...

Trash Crisis Is Driving Cost Increases, Selectmen Told

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town will be facing difficult decisions on how to move forward with its disposal of trash, were told selectmen on Monday night. ABC Disposal Services Inc. Vice President Michael A. Camara made clear that the cost of trash disposal will be increasing. He raised issues relating to the ability to find ways to dispose of municipal solid waste (MSW) as landfills close across the state and internationa...

Public Reaction Mixed To Pay As You Throw Proposal

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — If you missed last week's standing-room-only presentation on Pay As You Throw (PAYT) trash disposal and single-stream recycling—and you have the patience to sit through a few variance requests first—the conversation continues today (Sept. 19) after 2 p.m. at the board of health's meeting. The board joined the selectmen Sept. 10 for a public information session on switching to PAYT, which involves b...

Pay As You Throw Info Session Scheduled For Sept. 10

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The selectmen and board of health will hold a joint public information session Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. about a proposed Pay As You Throw (PAYT) trash disposal plan that could start as early as June 1. Members want to hear what citizens have to say on the possible change. “If I were to make a motion tonight, it would include the words, 'Time is of the essence,'” health board member Sims McGrath said. ...

Harwich Facing Municipal Sold Waste Disposal Limitations

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — As landfills close and older waste-to-energy incinerators require more down time for repairs, the disposal of municipal solid waste is becoming a serious concern. The volume of municipal solid waste (MSW) the town can dispose of on a daily basis is limited, according to DPW Director Lincoln Hooper, and local commercial hauler access to the transfer station has been drastically reduced. The town is...

Selectmen Hold Off On Treasure Chest Sticker Fee

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — While selectmen have approved an increase in a couple of disposal area fees, the board balked at placing a $10 fee on stickers for the Treasure Chest, the town's swap shop. The board also agreed to hold the line on the price of residential disposal area permits for this year. The proposed $10 fee for the Treasure Chest sticker drew debate last week, but questions were raised about the nature of the f...

CHATHAM – “Do Your Part – Recycle Smart!” is the mantra adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to promote recycling as part of its overall strategy for addressing solid waste management issues facing the Commonwealth. Others include the 3Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and the unabridged 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.  Many Cape Cod residents recycle a portion of their s...

ORLEANS – Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) systems encourage users to separate out recyclables; disposal of their remaining trash requires purchase of specially marked bags.  In a presentation to the selectmen and the board of health last week, DPW/Natural Resources Director Tom Daley said that, on balance, it's mostly free to recycle compared to municipal solid waste disposal costs of $95 a ton. Economically and envir...

Harwich Selectmen Balk At Plastic Bottle Ban

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Residents will be asked in town meeting in May to ban the procurement or distribution of water or any other beverage in plastic bottles on town owned property. While selectmen seemed supportive of the concept, the board had a number of questions about implementing such a bylaw and postponed a vote pending some wording changes. “We don't need to question the toxicity of plastic. There is no question i...

Transfer Station Makeover Price Drops

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Armed with firmer design figures, detailed cost estimates and a sharp pencil, a consultant now says the renovation of the town transfer station would likely cost $4.5 million, rather than the $7.5 to $8.5 million projected last year. The goal, said Mike Richard of Weston and Sampson, is to make the facility more user-friendly and efficient, to make vehicle traffic patterns less confusing, and to re...

Items Being Accepted For 10th Book And Media Swap

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Swept up in the Marie Kondo craze? Got lots of stuff you need to get rid of and want to find a way to do so responsibly, following the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy? Well, if some of that stuff falls into the category of books and media, bring it over to the annex to contribute to the annual Book and Media Swap. Now in its 10 th year, the free event will be held on Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. t...

Petition Seeks To Get Harwich To Give Up The Bottle

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — If a petition article passes muster with voters this spring, Harwich town departments will no longer be able to purchase or distribute beverages in plastic bottles. The article, submitted in Harwich by resident Patrick Otton, is not a town-wide ban on single-use plastic bottles, just a bylaw change to prohibit town government from procuring and distributing them. “I walk the beaches daily, and I...

Styrofoam, Plastic Bottle Bans Proposed

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – When a ban on single-service styrofoam packaging enacted by New York City Jan. 1 came up during a discussion with a group of friends, William Bystrom decided to research the issue. He ended up coming up with a petition to put a similar ban before voters at the May 13 annual town meeting. “We're dealing basically with food service articles,” such as take-out containers, cups and bowls as well as packi...

CHATHAM – Beginning Jan. 1, residents will be asked to recycle newspapers separately. Newspapers were previously included with mixed paper, all thrown in together into two large containers at the recycling area at the town's transfer station off Sam Ryder Road. The decision to ask people to separate newspapers from other paper stems from recent changes in the recycling industry, said Department of Public Works...

Transfer Station Revamp Could Cost Up To $8.6M

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — There's little disagreement that the town's trash transfer station and recycling center suffers from traffic congestion, odors, noise and general inefficiency. But the cost of fixing those problems is higher than expected; public works officials told selectmen last week that, using figures that are both very conservative and preliminary, the improvements could cost between $7.3 and $8.6 million. “T...