CSWD acquiring permits for compost site

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

With a plan in place to shut down Invervale Compost Products in Burlington by February, the Chittenden Solid Waste District is moving forward with its intention to open a new compost facility on Redmond Road in Williston.

Last week, the Vermont Attorney General’s office approved a plan to close CSWD’s Burlington compost site. The facility will accept compost material through Feb. 28, 2011, and will be able to sell bulk compost through June 30 of next year. In a press release, the waste district said it then plans to open a drop-off site in the Burlington area for household compost materials and yard trimmings. Those materials would be brought to the new compost site in Williston — assuming CSWD obtains all necessary permits.

“We have several permit applications in,” said Brian Wright, interim facilities manager for CSWD. He noted that the Act 78 solid waste permit is currently under technical review. “We anticipate sometime this month getting a draft certification.”

If approved, the permit will then go up for public comment, Wright said.

The waste district also needs to obtain its Act 250 land use permit for the compost facility. Wright said CSWD planned to submit the application for Act 250 this week.

The waste district already has stormwater and wastewater permits, Wright said, and has completed a traffic study that shows a compost facility would have no impact on peak hour traffic.

Williston Selectboard Chairman Terry Macaig said the board had told CSWD that traffic was the town’s main concern.

Wright said the waste district is scheduled to meet with Williston’s Development Review Board on July 27 for a discretionary permit hearing. CSWD representatives also plan to meet with Williston officials Friday to discuss a host town agreement, Wright said.

Town Manager Rick McGuire said the negotiations would be the first time the town and waste district meet face-to-face since a preliminary meeting this spring about the compost facility.

McGuire has said a host town agreement would offset costs incurred by the town because of a compost facility, including wear on roads from increased truck traffic, any problems with odor and any stormwater runoff issues.

“I feel confident about all of (the permits),” Wright said. “We satisfy all the criteria we’re judged on, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t get permits.”

Wright said the waste district expects to have all permits by the end of September. From there, he said construction of the compost facility should begin in October and take four months.

“The plan is to … get the facility built and operating by March 1, so we can just transition to Williston and not stop the flow of food,” Wright said.