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CSWD presents Redmond Road expansion plans

Composting and recycling improvements in the works

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

A 2,500-foot waterline extension down Redmond Road, approved by the Williston Selectboard in the fall, will enable the Chittenden Solid Waste District to power its composting operation, construct a new administration building and, one day, build an automated recycling center. 

The town’s water line currently ends at IBM Road — the entrance to GlobalFoundries. The extension will take it into the district’s composting center, where much of Chittenden County’s food scraps are processed into gardening products for sale under the Green Mountain Compost label. Along the way, it will pass the sites of a proposed new administration building and recycling center, which would replace the district’s current recycling center on Williston’s Avenue C. 

With Vermont’s universal recycling law taking full effect in 2020 — prohibiting food waste from being thrown in with landfill-bound trash — the volume of food coming into the district’s compost center has surged. So has its water needs to process the material into compost. The district had already outgrown the capacity of a man-made pond it built on-site and has been trucking in water, purchased mostly from Williston’s supply, to keep the facility producing compost.

“We literally have thousands and thousands of gallons of water delivered a year,” CSWD Executive Director Sarah Reeves said. “It’s expensive and cumbersome, and it’s dependent on transportation … We want to have water available as needed rather than waiting for Mother Nature or a trucking company to be able to help us out.”

The district will pay for the extension and be responsible for any breaks or repairs, according to Williston Public Works Director Bruce Hoar.

“It will technically be the Town of Williston’s line but, through an agreement, they’ll be responsible for it,” Hoar said.

In addition to bringing in a reliable water source, the district has plans to build a second access road to the compost facility to separate individuals dropping off food scraps from commercial haulers bringing in truckloads of material. An application for the project is on the Development Review Board’s Feb. 8 agenda.

“We want to pull vehicles off Redmond Road a bit sooner and make traffic through the site less confusing,” Reeves said.

The other main use for the water line will be to serve a proposed new office building planned for a vacant parcel south of the compost center.  

“We have outgrown our administrative office,” said Reeves. “It is maxed out as far as how many people can work in that location. The time has come for us to have a new, modern facility.”

‘It’s time to get machinery and technology to do the sorting and have people doing quality control and making sure the machines are doing their job.’

Sarah Reeves, CSWD executive director

An application for the 10,000-square-foot building and parking lot is on the Development Review Board’s Jan. 11 agenda. 

Further into the future, CSWD administrators have plans to site a new recycling center next to the proposed administrative office building. The current recycling center — known as the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) on Avenue C — is owned by CSWD and operated by Casella Waste Systems. 

According to Reeves, it is the only recycling processing center of its size in the country that still relies on hand sorting. A new center on Redmond Road would automate the process.

“People are touching every single bottle and can, and having to sort them. It’s highly inefficient,” Reeves said of the existing facility. “It’s time to get machinery and technology to do the sorting and have people doing quality control and making sure the machines are doing their job.”

The Avenue C facility is currently processing twice the amount of material it was built to handle, she said. 

CSWD administrators are planning to propose the new recycling center to its board of directors for approval as a first step.

“This would be critical infrastructure that is really needed in Vermont … and we’re really excited about the possibility of being able to leverage some of the federal infrastructure dollars that were just approved this past year to be able to help with the construction and equipment,” Reeves said.

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