Committees: Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee
To promote and encourage efficient long-range waste planning with a focus on recycling through the use of communication/education, facilitation, and best practices.
Set benchmarks and goals
Update body of knowledge
Create distribution lists
Involve each of the schools and develop education program
Involve recreational programs by creating recycling education program for kids involved
Involve cable television and local media
- Full recycling throughout the town, including all schools and municipal buildings
- Enforcing recycling and transfer station rules, including resident permits and mandatory recycling
- Develop compost program
Best Practices Goals
- Determine what works for other towns around SWAP areas and implement best practices
- Incorporate recycling and green practices into developments around town - set an example for other towns
- Partner with Hingham League of Women's Voters, ICLE, and DEP
- Analyze commodity contracts
2013 Annual Report
Hingham residents experienced another year of solid service at the Transfer Station. The details pertaining to overall costs and revenues from Hingham's waste disposal and recycling operations are found in the Department of Public Works' summary and financial report within this Annual Report. Below you will find the highlights and updates of the education and advocacy efforts of the Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee (LRWDRC) for this year. The LRWDRC efforts support the town of Hingham's household solid waste disposal and recycling services and policies.
Ongoing operations updates
• For 2013, the town's waste total was 7127 tons, up 72 tons from 2012. Hauling costs were $578,590, up $9746 from 2012.
• A total of 2062.3 tons of common recyclables (paper, cardboard, steel cans, plastics, textiles and glass) were collected, yielding a current recycling rate of 25.5%. Although recycling tonnage was up from last year, so was waste tonnage, yielding no improvement in our household recycling rate over last year. Hingham can do more to increase its recycling. As more recyclables are diverted out of the household trash stream into recycling and composting, Hingham will see a decrease in waste disposal hauling costs.
• The yard waste collection area continued to divert compostable yard waste from the household waste stream, with residents diverting 34,700 cubic yards of leaves, grass, brush and logs to the composting bays in 2013. Removing yard waste and recyclables from household trash yielded a savings of $82 per ton and provided the town with good compost material for use by households and for upkeep of our public lands.
• Improved signage marks the charity clothing and textile container bin area. These textile bins allow Hingham to continue to collect textiles that have an after-life and generate revenue for Hingham. The textile bins accept re-usable and worn-out clothes (including cotton, wool, rayon, fleece, polyester, and silk), shoes, undergarments, socks, blankets, linens, rags, stuffed animals, and seat cushions. This year's "rags to riches" collections yielded roughly $6800 (up from $4535 in 2012). Hingham is not paying to haul and incinerate these textile items, but rather is paid to collect these items for reuse or repurposing in the textile and upholstery industry.
• The Swap Shop has been up and running for the full year, thanks to all of the volunteer staff. The all-volunteer Swap Shop staff was, thankfully, coordinated by Barbara McMullen's scheduling and communication efforts, providing Hingham residents with access to gently used and reusable household items. The LRWDRC developed winter operating policies and volunteers have been warmed by the addition of a propane heater for the colder days. Additional volunteers are needed for the Swap Area and would enable the Swap to be open more hours. Volunteer forms can be found on the Transfer Stations webpage's "Public Works" tab (http://hingham-ma.gov/publicworks).
• A total of 5501 residential and 161 commercial Transfer Stations permits were issued in 2013. 1078 of the 5501 residential stickers were second car convenience stickers that cost $25 per car.
• In exchange for the proceeds from Hingham's Community Redeemable Bottle and Can Collection fundraising program, more than 20 community youth groups provided hours of service across Hingham. Youth groups performed a variety of clean ups and assisted at various public indoor and outdoor facilities throughout Hingham.
2013 Initiatives and Educational Programs
The LRWDRC continued to work in conjunction with the Board of Health, the School Department, the DPW, and the South Shore Recycling Cooperative's efforts to educate and advocate for sound environmental and economic recycling practices. Specific town-based and regional efforts in 2013 included:
• Quarterly graph in the Hingham Journal displaying Hingham's current recycling rate.
• Informational displays at the Hingham Library and Town Hall on: 1) Recycling textiles and expanded recycling of refrigerated and frozen food and beverage cartons; and 2) New Board of Health Regulations requiring recycling at all residential, municipal and commercial properties.
• Submission of "Good to Know" recycling facts and a Transfer Station video tour to HCAM's "Did You Know" and "Getting to Know" programs (Channel 9 and 97 for Comcast and Channel 3 and 31 for Verizon subscribers). The video tour of recycling operations at the Transfer Station is also available to view on the Transfer Station page of the DPW website.
• Assistance to the Board of Health's (BOH) Recycling Compliance Coordinator's efforts to bring all commercial waste and recycling haulers into compliance with Hingham's recycling regulations.
• Assistance with the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Day in May. With the support from the South Shore Recycling Cooperative, Hingham collected toxic substances from 279 cars, thus keeping these hazardous wastes out of the municipal waste stream.
• Support and assistance to the School Department's application and receipt of a Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grant from the DEP. This grant will fund a recycling intern to: 1) support and enforce Hingham Public's School's recycling requirements by users of the school buildings and fields; and 2) oversee a pilot collection program for food and compostable paper waste for diversion to composting.
• Advocacy and support to the School Department's adoption of an official Recycling policy that complies with Hingham's recycling regulations.
• Expansion of paper plate composting at the Transfer Station with pilot programs at several Hingham schools.
• Development of the South Shore Recycling Cooperative's regional educational flyer "We're too GOOD for the Trash / We're too BAD for the Trash". A copy of the flyer is available at the LRWDRC's bulletin board on the first floor at Town Hall and at the library.
Committee Goals for 2014
The Long Range Waste Disposal Planning and Recycling Committee will continue to educate residents about the economic and environmental benefits achieved with recycling efforts. Recycling saves $82 per ton in disposal costs and generates revenue - paper, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, metal, batteries and textiles all have after-market value and generated $106,231 in revenue for 2013. Consistent with these financial and environmental benefits associated with prudent waste disposal and full compliance with recycling laws, the LRWDRC's 2013 goals include:
• Supporting the expansion of programs to compost paper plates and trays and other compostable waste generated by the public schools.
• Working to ensure that Hingham complies with new Massachusetts regulations that will require institutions generating more than 2000 pounds per week of organic and compostable paper matter divert that waste to a composting facility.
• Recruiting additional volunteers for the Swap Shop to expand hours of operation.
• Continuing to educate the commercial property owners and the waste and recycling haulers servicing these businesses on compliance with town recycling regulations, permitting guidelines, and the economic benefit of consistent recycling.
• Continuing to educate town residents on the materials collected at Hingham's Annual Household Hazardous Waste Day each May, with a focus on informing the public of which materials are accepted at Hazardous Waste Day and which materials are safely handled on an ongoing basis at the Transfer Station. See the table inside the back cover of this report for a list of items accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Day.
• Educating residents on waste reductions strategies.
Cheryl Alexander Bierwirth