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Vergennes will reopen stump dump

VERGENNES — Vergennes residents after many years will have a more convenient way to dispose of some of their yard and other wood waste by later this spring.
City Manager Matt Chabot announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting that he has received an Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) permit to re-open the city’s long-closed “stump dump,” which lies past the city’s Canal Street wastewater treatment plant.
Per the permit, area residents may drop off “natural wood” only, as defined in the permit as “logs, poles, trunks, branches, limbs, and stumps, lumber including timber, logs or slabs,” and pallets if they are not “chemically treated.”
Addison County Solid Waste Management District Manager Teri Kuczynski said the definition does not include leaves. A separate section of the permit that lists permissible open burning does name “on-premise burning of leaves, brush, deadwood, or tree cuttings” as legal if conducted by a property owner as routine maintenance.
According to Kuczynski the ANR insisted that the stump dump be closed between March 2002 and March 2003 due to infiltration of too much illegal waste.
Chabot said before the stump dump re-opens the huge pile of existing waste must be burned off in small batches. Natural wood waste dropped off in the future will be burned off in a similar manner. The ANR permit is essentially a burn permit that requires a local fire marshal to supervise burning what the agency recommends should be small piles, thus allowing illegal materials to be more easily sorted out.
The opening timetable will depend on when burning off the existing waste can start and how long it takes.
“The only outstanding issue now is how to knock back the existing material that is down there judiciously, and how quickly I can accomplish that will determine how quickly I can open the dump to the public,” Chabot said.
When the stump dump opens it will be supervised to prevent the discarding of items that don’t meet the natural wood definition.
Days and hours of operation also remain to be determined. Chabot said the dump could be opened more frequently early on to handle what he expects to be pent-up demand, but could back down to a monthly basis afterward. Nor has he determined who will supervise it.
“It’s too early in the process,” he said.

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