Town Government &
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
- Update website
- Update flyers
- 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
2014 Annual Report
The Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee (LRWDRC) is pleased to provide residents with a recap of 2014's waste disposal and recycling operations at Hingham's Transfer Station. The LRWDRC's educational and advocacy efforts support the town of Hingham's household solid waste disposal operations. For financial data related to the overall costs and revenues from Hingham's waste disposal and recycling operations, please refer to the Department of Public Works' summary and financial report in this Annual Report. In this report you will find the highlights and updates of the education and advocacy efforts of the LRWDRC in 2014.
Ongoing operations updates
- A total of 3,734 residential and 128 commercial Transfer Station permits were issued in 2014.
- For 2014, the town's disposed waste total was 6,998 tons, down 129 tons from 2013. Hauling and disposal costs went from $578,590, in 2013 to $620,268 in 2014, demonstrating that the cost of household trash disposal is on the rise and reinforcing the need to divert recyclable material from the household waste stream. All diverted recyclables reduce the town's waste disposal costs and metal, cardboard, paper and textiles yield income for the Town of Hingham.
- A total of 1,951.5 tons (vs. 2,033.3 tons in 2013) of common recyclables (paper, cardboard, steel cans, plastics, textiles and glass) were collected, yielding a current recycling rate of 33.1% (vs. 33.3% in 2013).
- The yard waste collection area handled 3,860 tons of compostable yard waste (leaves, grass, brush and logs) in 2014. Removing yard waste and recyclables from household trash is mandated by state law, yielded a savings of $82 per ton, and provided the town with rich compost material for resident and public landscaping use.
- The clothing and textile container bin area continued to collect all types of household textiles that will either be reused as is or repurposed in the textile and upholstery industry. Accepted textiles include re-usable and worn-out clothes of all kinds of fabric and material, shoes, undergarments, socks, blankets, linens, rags, stuffed animals, and seat cushions. The textiles collected, ranging from rags to fine silk, added roughly $7,000 in receipts for the Town of Hingham as well as saving $6,300 in avoided disposal costs.
- The Swap Shop, now known as the "Shoppe at Hobart Street", provided residents with an option to pass along their gently used household items for re-use by other residents. The Shoppe exists due to the coordinated efforts of resident volunteers and Transfer Station staff. A part-time Shoppe Coordinator, hired in 2014, coordinated the training and scheduling of the Shoppe's volunteers. Due to a lack of volunteers, the Shoppe was not able to expand to six hours per weekend day (9-3); Shoppe hours remained 10-2 Thursday-Sunday. Volunteer forms can be found on the Transfer Station's webpage's "Public Works" tab (http://hingham-ma.gov/publicworks) or on the LRWDRC's bulletin board on the 1st floor of Town Hall.
Hingham's Community Redeemable Bottle and Can Collection fundraising program continued to benefit many local youth organizations. In exchange for the redemption proceeds, this year twenty community youth groups performed the following community services:
Collected trash around Rec. Center and fields
Put out flags on Veteran's graves
Helped with Community Blood Drive
Worked at the Hingham Food Pantry (3 different groups)
Town Beach cleanup
Picked up old flag bins and retired flags with ceremony
Landscaped in front of South Elementary
Assisted with Memorial Day Celebration
Served dinner, cleanup and entertained residents at Hingham Housing Authority
Created video on water conservation
Collected and shelved food for the Food Pantry
Office work and planted flowers at Hingham Historical Society
Worked at Bare Cove Fire Museum
Chaperoned Halloween Party for the Rec. Center
Mentored special needs program
Cleaned Senior Center
Clean-up of trails at Foundry Pond
2014 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 common sense, environmentally friendly and fiscally sound recycling practices. Specific town-based and regional efforts in 2014 included:
• Updated "What Must I Recycle" on the DPW website to include refrigerated beverage cartons which should be rinsed and recycled in the paper compactor; rigid plastics (outdoor furniture and toys, pails, crates), which are recycled with plastics; and Gypsum Wallboard which is now a MA Waste Ban material and must be recycled (ask Transfer Station staff for location).
• Informational displays at the Hingham Library, Town Hall and the Farmer's Market.
• Submission of "Did you know" recycling facts for broadcast by Hingham Community Access Media (HCAM - Channel 9 and 97 for Comcast and Channel 3 and 31 for Verizon subscribers).
• Support for the Board of Health's Recycling Compliance Coordinator's efforts to assist commercial waste and recycling haulers comply with Hingham's residential and commercial recycling regulations.
• Helping to prepare the letter insert in residential HMLP bills, outlining what must be recycled and which materials residents who contract with private trash haulers can recycle through their hauler and which should be brought to the Transfer Station for recycling.
• Assistance with the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Day in May. Hingham collected toxic substances from 254 cars, thus keeping these hazardous wastes out of the municipal waste stream.
• Support for the Public School's newly hired Recycling Implementer's efforts to: 1) Implement a pilot organics collection program at East School; and, 2) Communicate and enforce Hingham Public School's recycling requirements by users of school facilities and fields.
• Participation in an educational campaign for the statewide Updated Bottle Bill ballot question.
• Developing a plan to provide some covered shelter for the Swap Shoppe so items can be protected from the elements and thus reducing the cost of disposing of items ruined by rain and snow. A MA DEP Dividends program provided approximately half of funds needed and the remainder of the cost will be raised in 2015. Please note that the Swap Shoppe CANNOT accept upholstered furniture.
Committee Goals for 2015
In addition to ongoing efforts to educate the Hingham community about the economic and environmental benefits of recycling, the LRWDRC's 2015 goals include:
• Educating residents on waste reduction strategies.
• Educating the public regarding MA DEP's waste ban inspectors' enforcement of waste ban items from municipal waste loads that arrive at SEMASS. Hingham loads that contain waste ban items will result in violations, thus efforts are being made to avoid these costly violations.
• Working to pass a town by-law regarding single-use checkout bag usage at business establishments in Hingham. The LRWDRC views the proposed ban as consistent with its mission to reduce waste.
• Researching the economics and logistics of a Save Money and Reduce Trash ("SMART") approach to managing Hingham's household waste.
• Installing a partial covering for the Swap Shoppe.
• Exploring the potential for organics processing at the local level.
For information about what must be recycled in Hingham and how to do so at the Transfer Station go to:
Cheryl Alexander Bierwirth