BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Solid Waste Management District (WSWMD) has been awarded a materials management implementation grant of $78,136 by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), a division of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
Grant funds will be used to improve the management of food scraps and household hazardous waste at WSWMD's transfer station and composting facility on Old Ferry Road.
The grant is part of $975,000 made available from the Solid Waste Management Assistance Fund provided by the state to help towns and solid-waste planning entities implement their solid-waste plans, as required by state law.
WSWMD Chair Michelle Cherrier said in a news release that the grant “will improve the efficiency and safety of both collection systems.”
Cherrier said the volume of food scraps received at the district transfer station has “increased dramatically.” The district also recently opened a permanent household hazardous waste collection facility, which is available by appointment.
Of the grant total, WSWMD received $58,800 toward a new backhoe-loader to manage materials at the composting facility, and trash and recyclables at the transfer station.
The district's existing backhoe-loader will be used as a backup to the new machine, and both can be used to screen compost to meet increasing demand for Brattlegrow compost, made from residential and commercial food scraps, leaves, wood chips, and grass clippings, and processed at WSWMD.
An additional $7,336 was awarded to the District toward a new totally enclosed food scrap collection dumpster to assist with the management of food scraps at the transfer station.
The new dumpster will increase the ability to control flies and odors, while also making emptying of the container much easier. Funds will also be used to purchase a 30-cubic-yard open-top roll-off container to haul leaves, wood shavings, and other bulking agents for composting.
Lastly, the funding includes $12,000 toward the construction of walls around the collection area for household hazardous waste, paint, and electronics. Although under cover, the area is subject to high winds that blow in rain and snow during storms. The walls will increase staff and user safety while using the facility.
The grant funding of $78,136 represents 42 percent of overall project costs, with WSWMD providing 58 percent, or $107,204, in matching funds. The district is able to cover its share of the costs through its capital reserve fund.