After approving the installation of five blue recycle bins in downtown Edgartown at their meeting last week, selectmen heard from Don Hatch, the manager of the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse Disposal and Resource Recovery District, who asked for the bins to be monitored due to the rising costs of recycling and stricter rules on what can be recycled.
Hatch said the cost of recycling increased on May 1 from $65 a ton to $100 a ton.
“It’s not a good situation,” Hatch said. “It’s getting stricter by the month.”
The issue is contamination. Hatch said one person throwing a soda can that wasn’t washed out properly into a recycling bin can contaminate all the other cans, which can then contaminate an entire container once it goes to the refuse district.
When garbage is collected, the refuse district sends it to Covanta Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Center (SEMASS) in Rochester. If recycling is contaminated it also goes to SEMASS to be converted into electricity through a shred-and-burn process. Hatch said it is cheaper to send the recycling to SEMASS at $64 a ton.
If the bins are installed, Hatch said, he wants to see how contamination could be mitigated.
“There’s going to be things put in there that shouldn’t be put in there, and how do you control that?” selectman Margaret Serpa said.
Selectmen said Hatch should discuss the blue recycling bins with Julia Celeste, whose family owns Rosewater Market and is paying for them.
In other business, the Edgartown Water Department was awarded a beyond-compliance award. The awards were given to the water department by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with recognition from the state Senate.
There are 1,649 water systems in Massachusetts, with Edgartown being in the top 49, according to Bill Chapman, water superintendent. “We’re proud to serve this community, and we’re proud to work in the caliber that we do,” Chapman said.
Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery was granted an extension to its summer entertainment license. The popular brewery will now have entertainment four days a week in July and August.
The request was met with pushback from neighbors who said the music can be too loud, but selectmen agreed to extend the license, and if complaints came up, they would review them. Selectman Michael Donaroma, who leases the property to the brewery, did not participate in the discussion or vote.
After extensive interviews, selectmen selected Allan Debettencourt as the town’s new highway superintendent. Debettencourt has been serving as the interim superintendent after his predecessor Stuart Fuller left the job.