1. Tracking and Reports: The District tracks the amount of recyclables, trash, bulky items, and metal shipped under the District’s hauling contracts. This information is necessary for state reports, but also helps towns in their budget process. The District completes annual reports required by the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
2. Grant Writing: Each year the District applies for state solid waste management grants on behalf of its member towns. The District has received grants totaling in excess of $900,000 from state and federal sources. Annually, the District applies for and receives close to $80,000 in state funds for member towns.
3. Special Programs: The District operates three regional permanent collection centers for household hazardous waste in Colrain and Conway. These sites are open year-round to all District residents. Residents are charged a disposal fee for their waste. The District also coordinates a collection twice a year for tires, electronics, appliances, and bulky wastes. This collection is held at three sites simultaneously. The District sells backyard compost bins and recycling bins. It operates a free sharps collection program. It collects mercury-containing products at no cost and provides free non-mercury thermometers to residents.
4. Assistance for Schools and Public Events: Technical assistance is offered for recycling and composting at schools and public events, such as fairs. The District loans out event recycling bins. Assistance is also provided to schools for managing fluorescent lights, electronics, and hazardous materials.
5. Operational Review: District staff will conduct a comprehensive review of a town’s waste management system – transfer station or curbside. A full assessment of efficiencies and costs will be made. Assistance will be provided on implementing recommended improvements and going out to bid for services.
6. Representation at Regional, State, and National Forums: District staff participate in meetings held by regional, state, and national organizations. District staff provide input on legislation, regulations, new programs, and planning efforts. Always, the intent is to represent the unique needs of and issues facing small, rural towns in western Massachusetts.
The District administers fee-for-services programs that each town can choose to use for an additional administrative fee. For hauling contracts, District staff develop and distribute bid documents, review bid results, recommend contractors, develop contracts, review monthly bills and expenses, and advocate on behalf of the towns with the contractor.
1. Recyclables Hauling: The District administers a contract for hauling recyclables from each town transfer station to the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility. Each town receives revenue per ton of recyclables delivered to the facility.
2. Waste Hauling & Disposal: The District administers a contract for hauling and disposing/recycling of trash, bulky wastes, appliances, and scrap metal from town facilities. Towns receive revenue from scrap metal sales.
3. Sludge Hauling & Disposal: The District administers a contract for hauling and disposal of sludge from town wastewater treatment facilities.
4. Household Hazardous Waste: The District organizes an annual collection for household hazardous waste from residents and businesses. The collection is held at two sites simultaneously. Over 400 households participate annually in this collection.
5. Transfer Station and Landfill Inspections: The District is authorized by DEP to conduct the annual transfer station inspection required by regulation. A report is compiled and submitted to DEP and the town. The District is instrumental in resolving compliance issues with DEP-WERO staff in a beneficial way for the town. There is a fee for the inspection service.