Burlington is considering changing the way residents' household waste is collected

By Paul Ploumis

The City of Burlington is getting closer to implementing a system for the consolidated collection of waste, following a study and in-house evaluation of the feasibility and benefits of such a system. 

The Burlington Department of Public Works and Tweeted that they and the South Burlington Department of Public Works will present on consolidated collection at Monday's City Council Meeting, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. 

What is consolidated collection?

The departments have been studying potential benefits of streamlining waste collection for residential household trash, recyclables and food scraps, according to the Burlington City website. Currently, DPW only collects recyclables, while private contractors collect and haul garbage and compost. 

"Current collection of residential trash, recycling and compost in the City of Burlington is fragmented, inefficient and costly," stated Chapin Spencer, the director of public works, and Lee Perry, assistant director of the DPW Maintenance Commission, in a July Memorandum. "Through our consultant’s study and our own in-house evaluation, we are confident that a fully consolidated collection system will improve convenience, reduce environmental and community impacts, and save residents money." 

The city is pursuing possibilities for consolidated collection following a 2018 City Council resolution to determine whether consolidating waste collection could reduce environmental impacts, lower costs for residents and improve infrastructure. Early in 2019, Chittenden Solid Waste District hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for Burlington and South Burlington, which has determined a handful of benefits. 

Public input will guide the city's next steps, according to their site. The district's request for proposal listed the following objectives for consolidated collection: