THE HILLTOWN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COOPERATIVE
2020 ANNUAL REPORT
The Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative (HRMC) was created in 1989 by a group of dedicated volunteers who had the vision to seek a regional solution to help small towns attain sustainability and environmental objectives through solid waste and recycling programs.
The member-Towns that comprise the HRMC include: Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington. Each Town appoints two representatives to serve on the HRMC Board. Board Officers for 2020 included: Joe Kearns, Chair (Middlefield); John Chandler, Vice Chair (Chesterfield); and, David Blakesley, Treasurer (Westhampton). In 2020, HRMC services included:
- Conducting annual DEP transfer station inspections and work as a liaison between Towns & MADEP on transfer station compliance matters.
- Bid Administration for a new 3-year municipal waste hauling and disposal contract.
- Representation and bid liaison on a new 5-year recycling contract with extension options.
- Work with regional entities to challenge increased prevailing wage rates for hauling.
- Execution of an annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.
- Program management of transfer station recyclables including collection, hauling and recycling of tires, electronic waste, universal waste (including free recycling of mercury thermostats and re-chargeable batteries), books, and Freon evacuation.
- Outreach on transfer station operations and recycling initiatives.
- Submittal of member-Town DEP annual surveys, grants, and reports.
- Financial administration of HRMC programs and monitoring of grant activities.
The day to day business and program operations of the HRMC are managed by a contracted Administrator, who also serves as a representative to the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MFR) Municipal Advisory Board (Vice-Chair), the State Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Western Mass Regional Recycling Coordinator group; and, interfaces with local, regional, and State officials. Board meetings are held on alternate months. The March 16, 2020 meeting was cancelled due to the Covid 19 social distancing guidelines. All subsequent meetings were held virtually. Throughout the pandemic, the HRMC provided guidance on operations protocols.
The HRMC has an annual operation’s assessment that is approved by each Town at their annual Town meeting. The annual Assessment Budget is based on tonnage and population. In FY20, the combined assessment for all ten towns was $ 63,289. The Assessments offset base operating expenses. HRMC recycling program collection costs are pass-thru expenses from the HRMC to the Towns to best maximize economy of scale and to enable the HRMC administrator to have review and oversight of vendor relations and program operations.
In 2020, all HRMC member-towns were eligible for and received Recycling Dividend Program Grants under the DEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP). Applications were submitted for them through the HRMC. In total, the HRMC Towns received $ 47,250.00 in grant funds to be used to further enhance recycling programs.
During the past year, the HRMC member-Towns collectively diverted 965 tons of recyclable materials to the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility. Eight of the ten member-Towns have adopted recycling goals of 50% with the intent of increasing quantity and improving the quality of materials being recycled at their transfer stations and to reduce waste being landfilled. In 2020, member-Towns collectively had a recycling rate of 31%.
Kathleen A. Casey, HRMC Administrator