Ferrisburgh hazmat event first of three in rural precincts

FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh and Panton residents will have a chance to dispose of hazardous household waste locally on May 19, instead of having to take the garbage to the Addison County Solid Waste Management District transfer station in Middlebury.
At some point the trash district also plans temporary drop-off stations to serve two groups of outlying towns; one hazardous household waste collection day will serve Lincoln, Starksboro and Monkton in the northeastern part of the county, and the other will serve Whiting, Goshen and Orwell on the southern end.
ACSWMD official Dan Maglienti met with the Ferrisburgh selectboard on March 13 to get the board’s permission to use the town highway garage from 8 a.m. to noon on May 19 as a collection point. No business waste will be accepted at that Little Chicago Road collection point, he said.
Maglienti told the Ferrisburgh selectboard at a March 13 meeting that the management district was organizing hazmat collection points outside of its Route 7 Middlebury headquarters for the first time since 2003.
It was doing so, he said, in response to a “new convenience standard” adopted by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation that requires the state’s solid waste management districts to take extra steps to serve residents who live further than 15 miles away from transfer stations.
Since 2003, Maglienti said, the ACSWMD transfer station has been open 308 days a year to accept household hazmat materials, such as unused pesticides, oil-based paint and thinner, heavy-duty cleaning and automotive products, pool chemicals, and products that contain mercury, such as thermometers and fluorescent light bulbs.
In the past 15 years the transfer station has gone from accepting hazmat materials from 900 households a year to about 24,000, he said, and officials are not necessarily expecting a flood of visitors at the half-day drop-offs.
“We’re hoping there is not a pent-up demand for this,” he said.
Maglienti said the event would come at no cost to Ferrisburgh and would be promoted with postcards to residents.
Members of the Ferrisburgh selectboard approved the half-day hazmat drop-off, but were not convinced the new convenience standard was a good idea.
“Is this something the district is doing happily?” asked Selectman Steve Gutowski, adding later, “This seems a little overkill.”
Maglienti said running the collection points would mean extra expenses in salaries and outreach that would have an impact on ACSWMD spending.
“It will increase our budget,” he said.
A more complete list of hazardous household materials that ACWMSD accepts may be found at www.addisoncountyrecycles.org/articles/hazardous-waste.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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