Springfield walks back Transfer Station changes To study options to accommodate smaller amounts of trash

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

The Town of Springfield recently announced a major change in the way its transfer station would be doing business, but on Tuesday afternoon, June 11 – after hearing public concerns the night before – the town put a hold on rolling out all the changes until Sept. 1.

It will now be looking for a way to accommodate people who have smaller amounts of trash rather than the large 30-gallon trash bags.

July 1 will remain the first day when anyone coming to the Transfer Station on Fairgrounds Road will need to display a sticker on their windshield to enter.

And, the green trash tickets so familiar to residents will be phased out in favor of a $15,  four-punch card that would entitle the user to dispose of up to four 30-gallon trash bags. There would be no weighing of trash.

The cost of stickers is $25 for the first car and $5 each for additional vehicles from the same household. Those stickers can be purchased at the Springfield and Chester town offices.

From now until Sept. 1, the Transfer Station will continue to weigh trash and collect the old green tickets, which will remain on sale. People who have already purchased punch cards may use them “at face value.”

In the interim, the Town of Springfield will look into punch card options that will work for those smaller amounts of trash.

Trash at your disposal

The world of trash disposal has been changing dramatically in recent years. From Act 148 (Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law) to cutbacks in demand for recyclables on the part of Chinese industry, the squeeze is on and the industry is feeling it. That includes Vermont’s transfer stations, which are scrambling to find ways to make ends meet.

According to the minutes of the May 28 Springfield Select Board, Town Manager Tom Yennerell showed the board that the transfer station has shown an annual shortfall of approximately $100,000 over the last three years.

To close that gap, Yennerell proposed changes in the system that were meant to reduce labor costs and generate more income. The punch card system without weighing trash was estimated to generate $64,775 each year while the windshield stickers are expected to bring in $60,000 each year.

Yennerell said that the Town of Chester would continue to pay a fee for its residents to use the Transfer Station and that Chester, Cavendish and Andover residents — and those of other towns its serves — would need to purchase stickers for their vehicles too.

The Springfield Transfer Station is open 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays;  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

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