The Times Argus recently summarized some of the problems with closing the Moretown Landfill. Deborah Markowitz, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, recently wrote an article about the need to recycle because of the limited capacity of Vermont’s two landfills. Even with everyone recycling at 25 percent there is desperate need for disposal space. I suggest that Markowitz, unless she has an agenda, review the permit process and eventually get the solid waste division to issue its permit allowing Act 250 the opportunity to hopefully issue its permit. Is it the agency’s goal to eliminate landfills and pass our trash out of state?
It is my understanding that the division is holding the landfill to a “no-odor” standard. How realistic and fair is that? Should we shut down dairy farms because of manure odors? Green Mountain Coffee Roasters periodically gives off roasting odors in Waterbury. Should we close it down and terminate 600 or so jobs?
The Moretown Select Board realizes $532,000 paid by the landfill for the “nuisance of their existence” may end. The landfill managers are very generous with local charities. After Irene, the landfill took in an “ocean of trash” from Waterbury, Moretown, Waitsfield and other towns at a discount. Imagine the trucking cost of carting this trash to Coventry. How does burning diesel fuel at 4 mpg for 120 miles decrease our carbon footprint? Is it not hypocritical to promote buying goods locally yet shipping trash as far away as possible?
Years ago Chittenden County planned a regional landfill. It never happened. It was easier to truck trash to Moretown rather than wade through the environmental permit morass? Landfills do not get a welcome wagon. The Moretown Landfill has been in place for 30 years and has bought several nearby properties. It is time to issue the permit. A denial creates significantly more cost, increases the carbon footprint, and makes difficult the logistics of trash disposal.
Charles Grenier operates Grenier Engineering in Waterbury.
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