Moretown Landfill to accept waste only from contracted haulers beginning April 1; shutdown deadline is April 15

The Moretown Landfill will stop accepting drop-off waste beginning April 1, landfill officials announced Tuesday. The landfill will continue to accept waste from its contracted haulers until April 15, the deadline imposed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).

The ANR rejected the landfill’s application for recertification in its third and only active cell earlier this month. Unless Advanced Disposal files a motion to continue operating, the landfill will close on April 15. That will leave Vermont with just one commercial landfill, located in Coventry.

Landfill officials did not clarify why they chose to stop accepting non-contracted waste before the April 15 deadline. Mary O’Brien is the chief marketing officer for Advanced Disposal, the company that operates the landfill. She wrote in an email to VTDigger that “During the appeal process the company has decided to terminate the acceptance of all non-contracted waste as we access all operational options associated with the landfill and ANR’s decision to deny recertification of cell #3.”

The Moretown Landfill has been accused of environmental violations for over a decade. These violations led ANR to its decision to effectively close the landfill. There is a slim possibility the landfill could reopen if ANR approves its application to expand into a fourth cell. That application was submitted before the agency rejected the landfill’s recertification for its active third cell.

“Since there’s an application in house that’s pending, we’re obligated to review that,” said Ben Gauthier of ANR’s Solid Waste Management Program. But it is unlikely ANR would approve that application. “We’d have to make the same findings for cell four that we couldn’t make for cell three.”

O’Brien said the landfill plans to appeal ANR’s decision not to recertify the facility, “but the appeal process will take time.” And, she said, Advanced Disposal is “focusing solely on our appeal at this time,” not on expanding into a fourth cell.

Chris Boulanger, who lives near the landfill and has spoken out against its environmental violations at public meetings, said she’s not worried about where she’ll take her waste. “I’ve started seriously recycling and it’s just amazing how little trash we really throw away,” she said. “And I will be composting now, too. Where I’m going to put the small amount of trash that I do have, I haven’t decided yet, it could be in Waterbury.” She said there are also facilities in Montpelier and the Chittenden Solid Waste District where she can take her trash.

Advanced Disposal took over operation of the landfill in September of last year. The landfill was previously operated by a separate company owned by the same investment firm. Since taking over, Advanced Disposal says it invested over a million dollars in fixing the problems at the landfill. The company says the state didn’t take those improvements into account when it rejected the landfill’s recertification.

Audrey ClarkAudrey Clark

Audrey Clark writes articles on climate change and the environment for VTDigger, including the monthly column Landscape Confidential. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from Prescott College in Arizona, she worked as a field ecology research assistant and college teaching assistant for five years. Read more

Email: [email protected]

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Comments

  1. Greg Leech :

    Ms. Boulanger may be willing to drive to Chittenden County to drop off her little bit of trash, but it will be either transported back to Moretown (if the landfill is allowed to stay open) or to Coventry. And I’m sure the operators/owners of the Coventry landfill would love to see their only competition eliminated.

  2. Daniel Emery :

    Ms. Clark’s article was an informative article, but as in past reporting by the media, there is no response in the article from any anti closure resifdent (s), which in my opinnion, outnumber the pro closure people by a great majority.

    I have asked in the past and still wish the media would be more balamced. I have been in touch over the months with Ann Galloway and others at VTDigger, please see forward to them also:)

    Thank you,
    Dan Emery (resident/taxpayer, located half way between the landfill and Waterbury, for 50 years)

  3. Daniel Emery :

    I feel WSI must come in compliance with Natural Resourses criteria,as hopefully any future sites would have to be closely monitored and not be allowed to fall out of compliance, but I also feel that the ANR’s should give the new management, ADS, a more reasonable additional amount time to come in compliance. ANR needs exhaust all possibilities, which in my opinnion and that of the majority of VT residents,ANR has not. WSI deserves this before shutting them down completely as this affects a large portion of Vermont and 10’s of thousands of taxpayers, residents and tourists.

    I believe Ms. Marqowitz, the attorney, appointed secratary of the ANR by Gov. Shumlin, mentioned that their concern is the envirioment thus she/thry do not consider things like traffic congestion. This seems short sited if one considers hundreds of cars ideling in traffic in Stowe and Morrisville due to the additional truck traffic, as that is out of ANR”S perview. Traffic will more than likely backed up at the Depot Beverage recycling/transfer also. These backups at Depot or north on Route 100 would not be the fault of anyone, other than the ANR and others, elected or appointed, if they do not exhaust all possible remedies at the current landfiill in Moretown. The next few month will show definatively one way or the other.

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