Hinesburg trash and recycling drop-off set to return

LISA SCAGLIOTTI
Correspondent

Nearly two years after Hinesburg’s trash and recycling drop-off center closed to make way for town garage construction, a new facility is set to be built soon with an opening planned by year’s end.

At its meeting last week, the Chittenden Solid Waste District Board of Commissioners voted to hire Stewart Construction of Essex Junction for the project. The price tag is not to exceed $430,000.

Plans for the new center have been reviewed and approved by the Hinesburg Development Review Board and Selectboard, said Town Administrator Renae Marshall.

The last piece needed is to finalize the lease agreement between the district and the town, which Marshall said she expected to be completed soon.

The contract calls for the work to be completed within 90 days.

“We hope to have it open by the end of the year,” Marshall said.

For more than 20 years, residents of Hinesburg, as well as those nearby in Charlotte, St. George, Shelburne and Huntington, relied on the drop-off facility for trash disposal and recycling. The operation shared a site with the town garage on Beecher Hill Road.

In fall 2017, the waste district closed the center ahead of construction to build a new town garage. That move disappointed town officials who had hoped the trash and recycling operation could have remained open during construction. The town garage opened in December 2018, but the waste district’s process for the drop-off stretched into this year before officials decided to move ahead to rebuild the facility.

The new drop-off will be located at the town garage property. Instead of relying on roll-offs and temporary containers for many of the materials collected, the new center’s design calls for more permanent structures.

The center will have collection spots for trash, recycling, yard waste and food waste as mandated by state law. It also includes a 20×40-foot pole-barn-type enclosure to shelter bins for items such as batteries, propane tanks, fluorescent light bulbs, textiles and electronics.

There will be on-site compactors to help fill trucks to haul materials away. A permanent booth will also be built at the entrance.

The new center will not collect scrap metal, given that the full-time metal dealer, Burnett Scrap Metals, is located in Hinesburg, district officials have said. The new facility also does not have space for collecting construction and demolition debris or furniture.

The area will be busy in the coming weeks as work on the trash and recycling center will be happening at the same time that Beecher Hill Brook floodplain restoration is under way. The brook is a tributary to the LaPlatte River.

That project involves work coordinated by the Lewis Creek Association, which received a $342,000 grant from the Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program that will be matched with $30,000 from town funds and in-kind contributions from the environmental organization.

Kate Kelly, program manager with the Lewis Creek Association, explained that the project aims to alter berms and banks along the brook to slow down water flow and erosion, and reduce the sediment the brook carries downstream. The brook has been affected over the years by human development. The town’s garage project was designed to minimize impact on the brook in anticipation of the floodplain restoration.

Marshall said contractors for the brook project and the trash drop-off will communicate and should have ample room for staging their equipment. All of the activity also should not affect operations at the town garage.

“It should all be able to work together,” she said.

Kelly said the brook work will be done in two phases with completion planned for next summer.

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