Consolidated Collection Public Meeting - Part 1
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To better serve residents and examine how other communities have implemented waste collection practices, the City of Burlington Department of Public Works (DPW) is studying a potential new consolidated system for the collection of residential household trash, recyclables, and food scraps. Currently in Burlington, DPW collects residential recyclables, and residents contract with private haulers to collect residential garbage and compost or haul it to the appropriate facility themselves.
A consolidated collection system could take 1 of 4 forms:
1. Franchise Model – Franchised consolidated collection is where a municipality contracts with one or more private haulers to collect curbside trash, recycling, and compost. This model was studied by consultant GBB for Burlington and South Burlington in 2019 and 2020.
2. Franchise Model with City Bid – This model is similar to the franchised model, except the municipality retains the right to bid on districts against private haulers to collect trash, recycling and compost.
3. Municipal Operation Model – This model is where the municipality itself provides all aspects of trash, recycling, and compost collection, including oversight, customer service, scheduling, and billing. -- This is the model the Transportation, Energy & Utilities Committe supported 2-1.
4. Hybrid Municipal / Franchise Model – Under this scenario, the collection of different waste streams would be consolidated separately. For Burlington, this option would have recycling remain a municipally-collected service and trash and compost services would be franchised to private haulers. -- This is the model DPW has recommended to the DPW Commission and the Transportation, Energy, & Utilities Committee. This received support at the DPW Commission in a 5-1 vote.
The City of Burlington is undertaking this process following a 2018 City Council resolution in order to determine if consolidated collection can reduce environmental impacts, lower residential costs, and improve infrastructure and noise impacts. In January 2019, Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) procured a consultant on behalf of Burlington and South Burlington to produce a feasibility study and take a closer look at how consolidated collection might work. The study has determined there are likely to be key community benefits, but public input will guide next steps.
The District’s RFP listed the stated objectives of possible consolidated collection to the cities of Burlington and South Burlington as:
Reduced environmental costs of excess truck traffic;
Reduced costs to residents and haulers through more efficient collection routes;
Reduced infrastructure impacts of excess truck traffic;
Increased recycling through direct and consistent education to residents;
Reduced litter and increased recycling using wheeled carts by all residents.;
Increased diversion by using consolidated collection as the most cost-effective mechanism to add collection of food scraps;
Increased safety on local roads;
Reduced noise in neighborhoods and
Better compliance with state and local mandates.