Green Committee

Egremont solar array at Town Hall

Agendas & Minutes

View Most Recent Agenda and Minutes

Members

  • Richard Allen
  • Emily Eyre, Co-Chairwoman
  • Robin Goldberg 
  • Juliette Haas
  • Barbara Kalish
  • Pat Konecky, Co-Chairwoman
  • Sharon Waskow
  • Marj Wexler

Overview

The Town of Egremont, a community of 1225 residents in Western Massachusetts, designated a Green Community by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a community that actively supports clean, renewable energy; energy reduction and conservation; solid waste reduction; and good recycling practices. We hereby adopt, honor, and uphold the principles and goals enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

We will continue to meet our town's current energy-reduction goals and work to create a 21st-century clean energy economy. We will continue to lead. We will continue our investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will continue our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, to create a clean, healthy environment, and to stand for environmental justice. We will work to build and strengthen relationships across the Commonwealth and the nation to protect the planet from harmful climate change.

Pointers for Using the Transfer Station

You may have noticed that our Transfer Station has become a very busy hub lately. Our attendant has reported some issues that we want to see if we can get corrected.

  • You must have a transfer station decal. That can be obtained by contacting Town Hall at 413-528-0182, ext 17.
  • Drive slowly and carefully - going up and down the driveway and when arriving; parking and leaving. We want every to feel and be safe at our center.
  • Please, please, please if you are bringing compost, it has be put in the space between the concrete barriers. Do not just toss in front of the barriers. Also, it's compost - no plastic - food waste only.
  • Trash has to be bagged. No loose trash can be dumped in the Compactor.
  • Egremont's recycling program must be adhered to. Your trash must be sorted in accordance with the program guidelines. These are posted at the center and here on the town's web page. You can obtain details of the recycling program by calling Town Hall. The Town does get fined for failure to properly recycle.
  • If you plan to browse the Swap Shop, please do not abandon your vehicle in front of the compactor and recycling bins. Be respectful to others needing to park and move your car out of the way.
  • There is a fee for some items to be dumped. Please check with the attendant before dumping anything in the C and D and the Metals bins.
  • And last, but maybe most important, be kind to our attendants. They are only doing their jobs. They did not make the rules, they just have to enforce them.

If in doubt as to whether something has to be separated, bagged, is not accepted, or to confirm if there is a fee for dumping the item, do not hesitate to call Town Hall.

Thank you for your compliance. Stay well.

Recycling Reminders From the Sustainability Coordinator:

Judging from the amount of material in the two recycling containers and the community compost bins at the Transfer Station, our community is doing an excellent job of recycling and composting. Remember, when we compost our kitchen scraps and recycle our bottles, cans, and paper, we are reducing waste sent to landfills or incineration and saving the town money on trash-related costs. It's a win-win situation that everyone can feel good about.

Earth MachineI am happy to announce a terrific incentive to get even more of our residents interested in composting. The town now offers for purchase Earth Machine® backyard composting bins at the reduced price of $25 each (regular retail price is $110).

The 80-gallon Earth Machine® is a durable backyard compost bin, made from recycled plastic, and designed to compost food and yard waste. When we compost kitchen waste like coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit and vegetable peels, we can divert as much as 40% of our trash from the waste stream. Composting is super easy, and the finished product is a great, nutrient-rich additive for your garden.

If you take your kitchen scraps to the Transfer Station and dump the material in our community compost bins, please continue to do so. If you would like to purchase a compost bin from the town for backyard composting at the reduced price of $25, please contact me by email and we can arrange for a pick-up.

Thank you for your recycling efforts over the past year. Following are some guidelines for recycling:

Yes

Please do recycle the following items:

  • Paper envelopes with windows, magazines, newspapers, inserts, junk mail, post-it notes, business cards, catalogs, white and colored paper, shredded paper (in paper bag), corrugated cardboard, paperboard (for example, cereal boxes), clean pizza boxes (no grease or food), paperback books and phone books, construction paper, gift wrap, gift bags, cards and gift tissue paper (no metallic inks, foil, wire, glitter).
  • Aluminum cans, foil, pie pans.
  • Steel (tin) cans, empty, aerosol cans (laundry, food, beauty), beverage and pet food cans.
  • Cartons: milk, juice, soup, soymilk and drink boxes.
  • Glass food and beverage bottles and jars.
  • Plastic (2.5 gallons or less, caps and lids ok) food containers - margarine, yogurt, cooking oil, condiments, peanut butter; beverage bottles and jugs - soda, water, juice, milk; detergent bottles; clear clamshells; personal care bottles such as shampoo, soap, conditioner.

No

Please do not include these items in your recycling mix:

  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic trays
  • Plastic cups
  • Anti-freeze and motor oil bottles
  • Black plastic
  • Plastics over 2.5 gallons
  • Paper frozen food packaging
  • Textiles

(If you have any questions about recycling, please visit the MRF website.)

Pill Bottle Collection at Egremont Town Hall

Did you know that most prescription pill bottles cannot be recycled in our area?

Instead of throwing them away, please bring them to the Egremont Town Hall. The collection bin is under the Little Free Library box by the picnic table at the Town Hall "Pick Up and Drop Off" area.

Prescription and over-the-counter pill bottles are acceptable. They can be any size. Caps can be child-resistant or not, but they must be all plastic.

Please follow these important instructions to make this project work:

  • Remove labels, leaving no glue or residue (challenging when the adhesive is strong; if soaking in warm water doesn't work, try rubbing with oil or a product specifically intended to remove adhesive). To protect your privacy, please be sure your name does not appear on the bottles.
  • Wash bottles and lids in very hot water and dish soap.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Replace lids on the bottles.

The Green Committee delivers the bottles to Eddie O'Toole of Berkshire Amistad and his team, who take them to impoverished communities in Honduras. Many people in these areas receive medications in paper envelopes, which can be ruined by moisture or crushing. We are sure that our bottles are reused many times.

If you wish to start a pill-bottle collection somewhere other than Egremont, the bottles can be sent to Matthew 25: Ministries, an organization that sends them with medical supplies to needy communities throughout the world.

Egremont Textile Recycling

We in Egremont take our trash and recycling very, very seriously. Over the past five years, our attention to recycling and waste diversion has lowered the town's annual trash hauling tonnage from 480 tons a year to 390 tons. This has meant considerable savings to the town as well as the environmental benefits of less material going to landfill or incineration.

Another thing we can do is to remove textiles from what we throw away. "Textiles" include clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, stuffed animals, rugs, towels, sheets and linens. They represent as much as 6% of our annual trash, so it makes sense to look for ways to reuse, repurpose, or recycle them.

Clothing in good condition can be given away, sold to consignment stores, and donated to charitable organizations or thrift stores. The Town of Egremont has arranged with Goodwill Industries to have a truck available once a month (usually the third Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm) in front of Town Hall. Clothing and other textiles that are still in good condition are sold to fund their community work. Items too far gone are sold to textile recyclers who turn the fibers into rags, rugs, and the like.

Some charitable organizations ship textiles overseas or shred them. Whatever you choose to do with your old textiles, do remove them from the waste stream to reduce our trash tonnage.

So, remember, that paint-stained T-shirt or threadbare towel still has life to it - it can be reused, repurposed or recycled to see another day.

Textile Recycling Information: MA DEP Beyond the Bin Recycling

Plastic Film Recycling Information

Recycle It!

Please bring your plastic film to the bins located in the bottles & cans redemption rooms at the Big Y and Price Chopper supermarkets.


Donation

The Town of Egremont and Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation have created a new partnership to allow residents to easily donate their clothing, textile and small household items. Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation has been collecting these items across Massachusetts for over 25 years.

We are making donating easy. Residents can schedule a free home pick-up by calling 508-466-4590 or schedule online at BBBSFoundation.org.

Free Home Pickup

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced a groundbreaking, statewide recycling education initiative to reduce contamination in recycling by asking residents to "do their part and recycle smart."

Community Choice Power Supply Program

Egremont Municipal Aggregation

The Town of Egremont is pleased to announce that Dynegy Energy Services ("Dynegy") has been selected as the supplier for its Community Choice Power Supply Program ("Program"). This Program is a municipal aggregation that enables local government to combine the purchasing power of its residents and businesses to provide them with an alternative to National Grid Basic Service (M.G.L. c. 164, § 134). This Program only affects the supply portion of your monthly bill. It will not affect the delivery portion of your monthly bill. National Grid will continue to deliver your electricity but Egremont has chosen the supplier for the Program. Dynegy will provide electric power supply for all consumers currently on Basic Service in Egremont. In accordance with state law, this will inform you of your rights and options if you choose not to participate in the Program.

You will not notice any change in your electricity service. The only difference you will see is that Dynegy will be printed under the "Supply Services" section of your monthly bill. You will continue to receive one bill from National Grid. You will continue to send your payments to National Grid for processing. National Grid will continue to respond to emergencies, read meters and maintain the distribution and transmission lines. Reliability and quality of service will remain the same. Furthermore, you will continue to have all existing consumer rights and protections.

Other Resources

Local Information

Created by residents and primarily for residents, the Google listservs, NeightborsNet, Egremont Posts, and Egremont Discussion can serve as a source of practical neighbor-to-neighbor assistance, sharing local events, and in-depth exchanges on topics affecting Egremont. 

To join NeighborNet, email Marj Wexler.

To join Egremont Posts and/or Discussion, email Bruce Bernstein

The listservs are not controlled, maintained, or regulated by the Town of Egremont. The Town is not responsible for the content.