FY15 REPORT OF THE
HILLTOWN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COOPERATIVE
To the Residents of the Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative:
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 with volunteer local boards attain sustainability and environmental objectives.
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 FY15 included: Joe Kearns, Chair (Middlefield); Adam Leach, Vice Chair (Worthington); and, Tom Martin, Treasurer (Westhampton). In October, Kathleen Casey assumed the contracted half-time position of HRMC Administration filling the position that had been vacated in July.
The HRMC has been helping hilltown member communities manage all aspects of their solid waste including: municipal waste hauling and disposal, recycling, hazardous waste, DEP compliance assistance, and sustainability services. In FY15 those services comprised:
Bid Administration, Contract Administration, and contractor transition to both a 3-year Municipal Recycling Facility (MRF) hauling contract and a 3-year Municipal Solid Waste Hauling and Disposal Contract for each of the member towns.
Administration and Execution of a new 5-year MRF contract with DEP and Waste Management.
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, and Freon removal from appliances. Implementing a new Call2Recycle battery collection service. Additionally, the Town of Williamsburg became a regional mattress-recycling center for HRMC community residents.
Transfer Station operations and compliance monitoring including the implementation of DEP transfer station regulations that were announced in February 2014.
Preparation and submittal of DEP annual surveys and reports.
DEP Grant Administration including reporting and grant writing.
In addition to the managing the day to day business and program operations of the HRMC, the HRMC Administrator also serves as a representative on behalf of its member Towns to the MRF Municipal Advisory Board, the State Solid Waste Advisory Committee and, the Western Mass Regional Recycling Coordinators; advocates with local, regional, and State officials; and, is available to provide technical assistance on DEP and compliance related issues.
In FY15, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced their Small-Scale Initiative Grantsunder the annual Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP). Nine of HRMC town received a grant award of $500. Collectively, the grant awards totaled $ 4,500, which the towns used to acquire transfer station signs to meet new regulatory requirements, and to do public outreach. In addition, two HRMC Towns were the recipients of additional grants under the Recycling Dividends Program (Goshen and Williamsburg). In total, the HRMC Towns received $ 7,300.00 in grant funding - an increase of $2,300.00 over the previous year. Grant applications for FY16 were submitted in June for a total of more than $18,000 in funding requests.
The HRMC has an annual assessment that is approved by each Town at their annual Town meeting. The annual Assessment Budget is based on tonnage and population. In FY15 the combined assessment for all ten towns was $39,487.56. After two years of budget reductions, the Assessment Budget has remained level funded for the past 5 years. The Assessments are intended to offset base operating expenses. Recycling program/collection costs (other than MRF) are pass-thru expenses from the HRMC to the Towns to best maximize the economy of scale and to enable the HRMC administrator to have review and oversight of vendor contracts/relations, and program operations.
A review of recycling tonnage for FY 2015 shows an increase of nearly 43 tons compared to FY14. In FY15, the HRMC member Towns collectively diverted 1,085.57 tons of recyclable materials (paper, and bottles/cans) to the MRF and earned $19,018.14 in recycling revenue despite low market prices throughout the year.
The HRMC looks forward to continuing to assist the member Towns during the upcoming year. If you have questions about HRMC programs, call us at 413-685-5498 or by email at email@example.com.
Kathleen A. Casey