Data show town recycling more, producing less solid waste

BRATTLEBORO — The community has successfully embraced every-other-week trash collection, and has begun to produce less waste and recycle more, town staff and Selectboard members say.

According to an Oct. 13 memo from Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland to Town Manager Peter Elwell, Brattleboro residents generated 60 percent less solid waste for the town to haul in June, July, and August, compared with the same period in 2015.

The amount of recycling has increased, Moreland noted in his memo. The big increase was in compostable items, which jumped 160 percent compared with the same period in 2015, Moreland said.

In 2015, the town converted to a pay-as-you-throw model of trash disposal. In July of 2016, the town switched to every-other-week trash pickup. Curb-side collection of compost and recycling has remained weekly.

“[The transition to every-other-week pickup] has proved challenging for some households, especially those with children in diapers,” Moreland wrote.

“But townwide we have received few complaints, have saved more than $100,000 [in hauling fees], have not seen an increase in illegal dumping, and have diverted even more tonnage out of the town's waste stream,” Moreland wrote.

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