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:
- Changing from resident subscription services with the big national hauler to a contract with the town that we can control,
- Including in that contract curbside compost pick up, diverting compostable materials from our waste stream,
- Processing and using the compost locally, and
- 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
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.