Zero-waste goal topic of forums in Amherst

Staff Writer
Published: 9/14/2016 2:39:32 AM

AMHERST – Two forums will be held this month on reducing the amount of trash produced by residents and businesses in Amherst, and seeking reaction to a solid-waste master plan aimed at moving the town toward becoming a zero-waste community.

The forums are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 and 27 at the Unitarian Meetinghouse, 121 North Pleasant St., and are a collaboration between the town’s Recycling and Refuse Management Committee and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. 

Patrick Beaudry, manager of communications and public engagement for the regional commission in Springfield, said the agency has money available for doing outreach on behalf of the Amherst committee.

The proposals to get Amherst to zero waste would be part of the plan that will be brought to the Select Board for adoption.

“This is basically looking at all options, making recommendations and submitting to the Select Board as a blueprint for what actions they want to take,” Beaudry said. 

The forums will feature a screening of the documentary “Trashed,” a film about the impacts of waste and efforts to promote responsible use of resources, followed by a public discussion about proposals in the solid waste master plan.

John Root, chairman of the Recycling and Refuse Management Committee, said in a statement that he wants to hear from the public.

“We are excited about the prospect of significantly reducing the amount of waste that we generate through a public education campaign and the implementation of policies that promote zero waste,” Root said.

The plan can be read at http://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/35741.

An online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/zerowasteamherst, or by clicking on a picture of a blue recycling bin  on the town’s website at amherstma.gov. 

Comments can be made at the forums or by sending email to publicworks@amherstma.gov by Sept. 30, with a final draft plan submitted by the Recycling and Refuse Management Committee to the Select Board by Nov. 1.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.




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