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Environmental Science and Policy
This project aims to recommend a waste hauling system to the town of Amherst with the goals of improving affordability, sustainability, and transparency. Currently, the majority of Amherst residents contract individually with a USA Hauling and Recycling, a large corporation, for their solid waste hauling services. USA Hauling is expensive and residents are unhappy with the company’s lack of transparency and lack of sustainability incentives, including comprehensive recycling or compost collection services. At the request of local advocacy group Zero Waste Amherst, this project intended to evaluate and recommend an alternative method of waste hauling to the Town of Amherst. The options evaluated included: remaining with the Status Quo; remaining with the Status Quo but campaigning to inform residents of the options available to them within USA Hauling’s service options; remaining with the Status Quo but mandating that residents compost, either in their backyard, by contracting with USA, or by driving it to the transfer station; or entering a Town Contract between the Town of Amherst and a private hauler through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Each of these options were evaluated against four criteria, as established by residents’ and advocates’ priorities: affordability, sustainability, transparency, and feasibility of implementation. Analysis and evaluation methods included literature reviews, case studies, interviews with stakeholders, interviews with relevant contacts in other municipalities, cost calculations, and point systems to assess options. The analysis showed that a Town Contract is the best option of the four and will greatly improve waste hauling affordability to residents and to the town, will allow for sustainable practices to be prioritized, and will allow residents easy access to information about their service. For these reasons, this project recommends that the Town of Amherst contract with a hauling company for waste services.
©2021 Sydney A. Abraham, Madison P. Biasin, Ella V. H. Carlson, and Taylor J. Ditmar
Abraham, Sydney A.; Biasin, Madison P.; Carlson, Ella V.H.; and Ditmar, Taylor J., "Party in the USA (Waste): Evaluating Solid Waste Hauling in Amherst, MA" (2021). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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