Public Comment: Proposal For Trash Hauler Reform Gains Public Support, Deserves Thorough Consideration By Town Council

USA Trucking, Amherst's current solid waste hauler, delivering compostable trash to Martin's farm in Greenfield. Photo: Art Keene

The following public comment was made at the Meeting of the Amherst Town Council on June 27, 2022.

I am commenting in support of the Zero Waste Amherst proposal to provide universal compost pick up in Amherst. According to the Zero Waste Amherst website, the proposal has a lot of support in town. I would hope that the Town Council provides a thorough airing of all of the issues involved and ultimately supports the proposal.

The proposal has four main elements, which together would reduce our trash by 40%, reducing our climate and air pollution impacts both here and on the climate justice communities near landfills where we sent our trash. They are:

  1. Changing from resident subscription services with the big national hauler to a contract with the town that we can control,
  2. Including in that contract curbside compost pick up, diverting compostable materials from our waste stream,
  3. Processing and using the compost locally, and 
  4. Creating a Pay-as-you-throw fee structure based on the amount of trash produced, to further incentivize waste reduction

The organizations who support the ZWA proposal include:

The Board of Health (which endorsed it in January and asked the Town Council to move it forward then and again recently)

The Amherst Energy and Climate Action Committee

The Amherst League of Women Voters

Climate Action Now

Mothers Out Front

Common Share Food Coop

Local Energy Advocates of Western MA

Amherst Sunrise

The UMass Farm

The UUSA Green Sanctuary Committee

The MA Sierra Club

Community Action Works (formerly Toxics Action Center)

Again, I ask for all of your support to move this forward when it comes up, hopefully soon.

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2 thoughts on “Public Comment: Proposal For Trash Hauler Reform Gains Public Support, Deserves Thorough Consideration By Town Council

  1. I fully support this plan.
    The town should do a single negotiation with the hauler.
    Efficiencies will increase, recycling improve, and the costs to individual properties will be less.
    With Amherst trucking my costs were around $420.00 / year. With USA trucking it has quickly jumped to $660 / year.
    Ira Addes

  2. I was so happy to see Darcy Dumont’s letter in the Amherst Bulletin. I had spoken to Pam Rooney several weeks earlier about this problem with trash hauling–right after I got my bill (outrageous) from ABC. I’m fairly limited in what I can do to help–age, no car, etc. but if there is anything I can do to help I would be happy to do it. I hope the issue comes up for discussion sooner rather than later.

    Barbara Berlin
    152 Chestnut St
    Amherst, MA 01002]
    barbaraeberlin@gmail.com
    413-549-1386

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