Hanson Board of Selectmen is withdrawing an $18,000 grant from the state, hoping the Board of Health will rescind the regulation that forces private haulers to offer curbside trash and recycling pick-up at one bundled rate.
The grant came from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) when the town decided to move forward with a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) Program.
However, when the grant was discussed several months ago, the Selectmen at that time and Town Administrator Ronald San Angelo were not aware of the regulation requirement, and the level of concern it would cause in the community.
Board of Health Chair Gilbert Amado said this regulation is “nothing new,” and is the same as the state’s regulation.
“The state regulation is different,” San Angelo said, “The state regulation says to a hauler that you can’t collect any recyclable material in your normal solid waste stream with your trash.”
Selectman James McGahan asked Amado at the Selectmen’s Tuesday night meeting if the Board of Health would reconsider the regulation. Amado answered “no.” In fact, the Board of Health took a vote that same night to keep the regulation.
However, the Selectmen still passed the vote 3-2 to return the grant money to the state.
Selectmen Chair David Soper, one of the two Selectmen against this action, said taking the money away at this time is a “moot point.”
“I think the grant is something that needs to stay in place until the Board of Health decides what they want to do with the regulation,” Soper said.
The town has already expended just under $7,000 of the grant money, and will have to address that as an unpaid bill at October Town Meeting.
“Any local improvements we do to the Transfer Station will have to be funded by local tax dollars,” San Angelo said.