Public Comment: Necessary Steps to Move Forward with Hauler Reform


Casella recently won a competitive bid with Shutesbury, MA for a five year contract to haul the town's trash and recycling. Photo:

The following public comment was submitted in writing to the Town Services and Outreach Committee on October 12, 2023 for their October 13 meeting.

My name is Darcy DuMont and I am writing on behalf of Zero Waste Amherst regarding the Waste Hauler Bylaw proposal agenda item at TSO today.

We are gratified that at least two haulers have responded to the town’s Request for Information – Republic Services and Casella. We urge the town and sponsors now to take the time needed to evaluate all of the  responses which will provide valuable information about prospects for reforming our waste hauling system so that it will significantly reduce waste. 

As community sponsor of the proposal, we respectfully request access to those responses. 

We request that the committee not make any recommendation back to the Council pending that analysis unless it is to:

  1. Continue evaluating all of the elements of the August 2022 Waste Hauler Bylaw proposal, starting with the RFI responses and documentation provided
  2. Add to the 2024 Town Manager goals 

a. reestablishment of a Waste Reduction Committee 

b. seeking a grant to fund a waste reduction coordinator

c. provision of line staff to complete a cost analysis for implementing the elements of the August 2022 waste hauler proposal, including the estimated cost of the hauler contract and the cost of providing billing, using a Pay As You Throw fee structure, and providing contract compliance. 

We think it’s premature to consider implementing a ban on organics in the waste stream before knowing the cost of doing so with or without a hauler contract.

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