Observer Corps Report February 2019
From the Falmouth Solid Waste Advisory Committee mission statement (2017):
"In 1989 Falmouth Town Meeting created a Solid Waste Advisory Committee to help the town move towards an integrated solid waste management system that would integrate trash, recycling, hazardous waste management and other solid waste such as large household items and construction and demolition debris. ... Since this is a rapidly changing field, the Solid Waste Advisory Committee strives to provide accurate, up to date information on solid waste issues and to make recommendations when and where appropriate."
Falmouth currently disposes of more than 11,000 tons of trash each year at the Bourne landfill, at a fee of $58/ton. To reduce the amount of money the town spends on trash disposal, the Solid Waste Advisory Committee works with the Board of Selectmen and the Department of Public Works to advise them on how to effectively enforce existing Massachusetts laws on the removal of recyclable materials from the waste stream. In 1990, Massachusetts introduced the first waste bans on a variety of materials (for example, hazardous materials, construction materials, and easily recyclable items). Additional waste bans have continued to be phased in. To encourage communities to keep up with these changes, the state of Massachusetts has an incentives program for communities to earn points and grant money to fund public education of the changing regulations. Currently, Falmouth removes 3 + 4,000 tons of recyclable materials each year. These recyclables are taken to EL Harvey, a sustainable materials recovery facility in Hopkinton, MA. Given the very changeable nature of recycling in the United States, such as China refusing `contaminated' recyclable waste streams, the Solid Waste Advisory Committee strives to work with the Falmouth Selectmen and the Department of Public Works to keep Falmouth up to date with current waste disposal and recycling laws.
The members of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (2018-2019) are:
- Linda Davis (Chair)
- Jon Snyder (Vice Chairman) Resigned from the Committee in October 2018
- Chris Polloni (Secretary)
- Marc Finneran
- Virginia Gregg
- William Peck, Resigned from the Committee in January 2019
- Alan Robinson
- Ruth Brazier (member as of January 2019)
- Amy Roth (member as of January 2019)
Suzanne Thomas, LWVF Observer February 2019