WINDHAM SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (WSWMD)
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 14, 2019
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Michelle Cherrier, Chair, Dummerston; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Lester Dunklee, Dummerston; Cheryl Franklin, Guildford; Lewis Sumner, Halifax; Dan Toomey, Putney; Stillman Vonderhorst, Marlboro; James Damato, Readsboro; Irvin Stowell, Townshend; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster; Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro; and Merrill Mundell, Wilmington
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Peter Elwell, Brattleboro; David Jones, Brookline; Daniel Baliotti, Dover; Kevin Stine, Dover; Sheila Morse, Guilford; Cara Cheyette, Halifax; Andy Coyne, Jamaica; Judy Flower, Jamaica; Tony Gordon, Marlboro; Shannon Meckle, Newfane; Mike Fitzpatrick, Newfane; Robert Matte, Readsboro; Kent Young, Stratton; Emily Vergobbe, Vernon; and Tom Consolino, Wilmington
WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director; Athena Lee Bradley, Programs Manager; and Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk
OTHERS PRESENT: Daniel Richardson, Terrant Gillies & Richardson; Mike Cahill, Germano and Cahill P.C.; Tim Franklin, Franklin and Son; Craig Goodenough, Goodenough Rubbish Disposal; Joseph Ruggiero, Ruggiero Trash Removal; Peter Gaskill, Triple T Trucking; Reed Cutting, Reed & Sons Rubbish.
Note: At 7:03 the teleconference line was opened and Mr. Richardson announced himself. Line closed at 8:02 PM, after comments from Mr. Richardson.
Ms. Cherrier called meeting to order at 7:04 PM.
- Changes and/or Additions to Agenda:
Mr. Mundell moved to begin the meeting with Mr. Cahill’s presentation on flow control. Motion seconded and carried unanimously with 12 votes.
- Approval of Minutes – January 10, 2019:
Mr. Damato moved to approve the minutes of January 10, 2019. Motion seconded and carried with 10 votes. Ms. Franklin and Mr. Stowell abstained.
- Approval of Check Register – January 2019: The board discussed the various disbursements listed on the check register including for printer rental expense, monthly trash and C&D hauling expense.
The board approved the January Check Register with 11 votes, Mr. Stowell abstained.
- Approval of Financial Report – January 2019: Mr. Spencer summarized the financial report for the board and several line items were discussed. Mr. Moreland requested that Net Liquid Assets and statements for the Organics Program be distributed going forward. These have been included with financial reports in years past but had been simplified at the request of the finance committee. Ms. Meinhard asked about the timeliness of SSH payments to the district, with Mr. Spencer reporting improvements.
The board approved the January Financial Report unanimously with 12 votes.
- Attorney Mike Cahill: Discuss Potential Implementation of a WSWMD Flow Control Ordinance to Direct Organic Materials to District’s Composting Facility: Ms. Cherrier introduced Mr. Cahill, an attorney specializing in waste management. Mr. Cahill explained his background in solid waste law and provided a brief history of flow control ordinances, including his experience before the US Supreme Court in the case of United Haulers Association vs Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, which upheld flow control as a tool for use by public solid waste facility owners. Mr. Cahill presented flow control as one possible tool for public agencies such as WSWMD to manage revenues. Mr. Cahill has previously worked with two Vermont solid waste districts; Addison County to implement flow control, and with Chittenden County, which ultimately decided against flow control implementation. Mr. Mundell asked two questions; if flow control could be enacted up to certain volumes, and if such ordinances control for situations like the recent loss of local Hannafords’ organics to a contract partner in Maine. Mr. Cahill advised against flow control that would result in greater than manageable volumes. Because flow control only applies to waste, regulating disposal of organics still possessed by private entities likely falls out of the jurisdiction of these ordinances. To his knowledge, such a scenario has yet to be tested in court. Mr. Goodenough asked about regulation and ownership of food scraps/waste products when they are a marketable commodity and on what grounds the district could intervene in a hauler’s contract. Mr. Cahill said that the State of Vermont has given districts authority to regulate collection and disposal, and is authorized by the district’s Charter. Mr. Toomey asked if Mr. Cahill had any knowledge as to why Chittenden County decided against implementing flow control. Mr. Cahill said he believes the financial situation for pursuing regulation may have been resolved and that uncertainty around the constitutionality of flow control at that time may also have had an impact. Ms. Bradley and Mr. Damato both asked about exemptions, particularly for household and apartment producers doing community composting. Mr. Cahill advised care with exemptions and that any ordinance should be simple, focused and articulate. He also stated firm and even-handedness in enforcement, especially in the beginning is important to encourage compliance. Mr. Hodgkins asked about the case of Westminster, where ~90% of organics are composted on-site by residents, and hauling of organics is contracted directly between residents and the hauler rather than at the municipal level. If the town was subject to a flow control ordinance, anything being hauled would need to be directed to a public facility. Mr. Mundell asked if the ordinance needed to be applied district wide. Ms. Meinhard suggested using a radius of control, Mr. Cahill was unfamiliar with any precedent for such, but that it might be possible. Mr. Spencer asked why haulers supported flow control in Oneida-Herkimer counties, and Mr. Cahill explained that the independent haulers hoped it would level the playing field with larger interstate haulers. Ms. Franklin shared that she had learned the situation was similar in Addison County; the smaller independent haulers supported implementation to protect their interests against a larger competitor. Mr. Dunklee said this regulation could lead some member towns to leave the district. Mr. Franklin asked about out-of-district collection and ways that could undermine the perception of the district. Ms. Franklin said she had found studies showing significant rate increases for consumers after flow control was enacted and pointed out that the district is under no obligation to invest in compost infrastructure. Mr. Damato said that he is in favor of developing the organics program if the future profits can offset assessments. Mr. Richardson added that there are sections in the charter that envision such regulations, so it is left to the district to determine the goals of implementation. Mr. Spencer and Ms. Cherrier thanked Mr. Cahill for his excellent presentation.
- Approval of Contract with VT Agency of Natural Resources for Grant to Purchase Trommel Screen: Mr. Spencer reviewed developments with ANR since the last board meeting, his work with Ms. Bradley on the grant application amendment, and approval from the ANR for the amended grant amount of $59,960. Mr. Spencer stated that Mr. Richardson had reviewed the draft grant contract and had made a few minor amendments.
Mr. Damato moved to approve the ANR contract, WSWMD committing 60% contribution for the purchase of a trommel screen. Ms. Meinhard seconded, and the motion carried.
Mr. Spencer will write an RFP for the rental and purchase of a trommel screen.
- Programs Manager Report: Ms. Bradley transitioned to full-time at the beginning of February. She reported on the development process for the new website. Mr. Damato asked about tracking engagement, which will continue to be a functionality provided by the hosting service. The district will be contracting with Pinnacle Webworxs. Ms. Bradley submitted the annual report for ANR on HWW collection. Collaborating with Mr. Spencer, she researched for the ANR grant and worked on new ideas for compost marketing. Ms. Bradley developed a new special event procedure for containers loaned out by the district. Ms. Bradley asked supervisors to reach out to her for any special events in their town for which they would like WSWMD containers and training. The goal is for the procedure to be sustainable, with a focus on educating those involved. A major upcoming event is Strolling of the Heifers, which Ms. Bradley and Mr. Spencer have suggested to SOH that they contract with Elm City Compost rather than WSWMD for operating the event, with WSWMD providing oversight and training to Elm City Compost and SOH employees. Last year 60% of all waste was diverted at the event. Mr. Damato suggested the Readsboro July 4th events and connect with Readsboro HS for volunteers. Ms. Bradley attended the Vermont Recycling Coordinators meeting and discussed the new SWIP as well as reporting requirements. Also discussed was the potential Extended Producer Responsibility legislation, which would cover HHW collections similar to electronics, and paint. Ms. Bradley and Mr. Spencer met with a staff person from Windham South East Supervisory union about school composting. She is continuing work connecting with schools and businesses within the district. At the invitation of Mr. Sumner, Mr. Cherrier, Ms. Bradley, and Mr. Spencer attended a Selectboard meeting in Halifax to discuss WSWMD services and expences. Ms. Bradley is writing an RFP for HHW collection which should be ready for approval of the recommended contractor at the April 11 meeting. Mr. Spencer commended Ms. Bradley for her work and commitment.
- Executive Director Report: Mr. Spencer reported on the continued success of glass diversion and hauling to Keene, and potential reorganization with Putney Road Redemption containers. WSWMD will host a HAZWOPER certification program on March 1st. SSH has sold the first RECs in Massachusetts. Stormwater run-off maintenance is ongoing. Guilford will take the previously unassigned solar capacity. SWANA is offering a scholarship for students from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont pursuing solid waste related fields. BioCycle magazine article published an article by Mr. Spencer on his tour of Danish anaerobic digester facilities. Mr. Damato asked about uses for drywall. Mr. Spencer has experience composting drywall.
- Executive Session (if needed): None.
- Other Business as Legally Allowed: None.
- Adjournment: Mr. Damato moved to adjourn. Mr. Mundell seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 9:04pm.
Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk