|Solid Waste District to Undergo Review|
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff|
12:28AM / Monday, December 18, 2017
|The commissioners were interested in getting a state grant to review the recycling and trash collection efforts of the district's towns.|
ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management is applying for state technical assistance grant to help it find more ways to obtain more funds.
Although no official vote was taken Thursday because of a lack of quorum, commissioners present agreed it would be a good idea to apply for a grant that would allow Veronique Blanchard, municipal assistance coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Protection, to survey all towns in the district in hopes of finding ways to increase the district's funding through the Recycling Dividends Program.
"You get the idea sort of what you want me to work on and then you fill out the application, which does not take a lot of time," Blanchard said. "If approved, we will sit down and look at the scope of what we want to do and formalize the process."
Blanchard said the district can apply for up to 80 hours for her to look for ways each community can score more points. She noted communities need to score a minimum of eight points to qualify and can score a maximum of 25 points.
Many of the communities are so small it is hard for them to hit the minimum amount of points and because of this, it may be hard to rack up points, she said, but there may be some low hanging fruit such as updating hauler regulations.
Williamstown representative Timothy Kaiser said just some communities don't have these regulations and just the act of creating them could bring in some points.
"For the purpose of getting some points that is not a heavy lift," he said.
Program Coordinator Linda Cernik said a big point-getter on the list is the implementation of a pay-as-you-throw system that most member towns practice.
"As far as I can tell, most of the towns are running real smoothly and they are implementing changes to run even smoother," she said.
Blanchard said in many cases transfer stations may be able to capture points just by making small changes such as implementing a swap shop, collecting textiles or providing more educational opportunities for residents.
"Some transfer stations may do more than others and with a review of the district we can see where we can maximize," Blanchard said. "We can see what we can get and what will fly and figure out what to tweak to get as many points as we can."
Cernik said the region has been without a MAC for some months after the former one left and now that Blanchard is on the job, she has been a huge help.
Chairman Joseph Szczepaniak Jr. said they rarely saw the region's MAC before Cernik's time and thanked Blanchard for actually coming to a meeting.
"I want to thank you for being with us here tonight I don’t think we have ever had one come," he said. "We are very thankful and it’s nice to put a face to someone instead of just being blindfolded."