City Council

Chittenden Solid Waste District Representative

Position Description for City of Burlington
Representative to Chittenden Solid Waste District

CSWD is a regional solid waste district created under state law, 24 V.S.A. Chapter 121, Subchapter 3.  Each member community appoints two representatives—a commissioner and an alternate commissioner--to the commission governing CSWD.  CSWD Charter Art. II, Sec. 2.  Those commissioners have the following duties and authority:

  • To exercise the legislative power and authority of the District;
  • To administer and exercise the general  supervision of all fiscal, prudential, and governmental affairs of the solid waste district;

Burlington’s representatives must meet the following criteria:

  • No minimum qualifications

Burlington’s commissioners are appointed in even years for a two year term beginning June 1.  They may be removed by the City Council during their term for “stated reasons.”  CSWD Charter Art. II, Sec. 2.

Historically, the CSWD commissioners generally meet about once a month on Wednesday evenings. These meetings are generally held in Williston at the CSWD offices.

In addition, commissioners will be expected to:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings, or if a meeting must be missed, let the chairperson know ahead of the meeting if they will not be able to attend;
  • Review any materials provided to the commissioners ahead of time;
  • Notify the chairperson and/or any staff person assigned to the commissioners of any accommodation for a disability that may be required in order for the person to serve;
  • Act from a spirit of cooperation and with respect towards other commissioners, CSWD staff members, representatives of the city, and members of the public appearing before the commissioners;
  • Avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest or bias;
  • When deciding a controversy or responding to a request, conduct themselves in a fair and impartial manner;
  • Consider fairly the interests of all individuals and organizations whose interests may be affected by their actions as a representative of the city;
  • Comply with all aspects of the Vermont Open Meeting and Access to Public Records laws;
  • Report back to the City Council periodically;
  • Follow any guidelines or rules established by the CSWD commissioners about their role or conduct.

CSWD’s Charter explains its duties and powers, which the commissioners are to carry out, as follows:



The District shall be a body politic and corporate with the powers incident to a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Vermont consistent with the purpose of the District, and in addition shall have the following powers:

            (a) To operate, cause to be operated and contract for the operation of any and all facilities for the collection, transportation, resource recovery, recycling and disposal of solid waste;

            (b) To purchase, sell, lease, own, acquire, convey, mortgage, improve, and use real and personal property in connection with the purposes of the District and to construct, develop and maintain solid waste management facilities in accordance with federal, state and local law. At the election of the municipality in which District owned or leased real property is located (which election, once made, shall be final unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the District and such municipality), District owned and leased real property shall be exempt from municipal property taxation and special assessments; the District may agree to make payments to the municipality in lieu of such taxes or special assessments;

            (c) To sue and be sued;

            (d) To make contracts of every kind and nature;

            (e) To fix, alter, charge and establish fees and other charges for the services and facilities within its area of operation, which fees and charges shall be equitable and just;

            (f) To enter into management contracts with any person or persons for the management of District facilities for such period or periods of time and under such compensation and other items and conditions as shall be deemed advisable by the District Board;

            (g) To accept gifts or grants or loans of money or other property from any person;

            (h) To enter into contracts, leases or other transactions with any federal agency, the state, any agency of the state, or with any other public body of the state, including, municipalities;

            (i) To exercise the power of eminent domain within the District;

            j) To borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness as provided by Chapter 53 of Title 24, Vermont Statutes Annotated, as presently enacted and as later may be amended. For the purpose of that chapter, the grand list of the District shall be deemed to be the total of the grand lists of member municipalities, and the debt limit of the District shall not be diminished by any obligation incurred by a member municipality alone. Obligations incurred under such chapter shall be the joint obligations of the District and, except as otherwise expressly provided in the terms thereof, of each member municipality (as provided in Article IV, Section 5 hereof) but shall not be included in the indebtedness of a member municipality for purposes of compliance with debt limitations. The cost of debt service shall be included in the annual budget of the District as provided in Article IV, Section 2 of this Agreement, and to the extent not paid by user fees and revenues shall be allocated among the member municipalities as set forth in said section and in Article IV, Section 5. Where voter approval is required pursuant to Chapter 53 of Title 24 of Vermont Statutes Annotated, the Board of Commissioners shall determine the number and location of polling places, and when a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question from all of the member municipalities at such meeting vote to authorize the issuance of bonds, the Board of Commissioners shall be authorized to issue the bonds as provided in said chapter and in this Agreement;

            (k) To hire and fix the compensation of employees;

            (l) To contract with architects, engineers, financial and legal consultants, and other experts for services;

            (m) To contract with individual, corporations, associations, authorities, and agencies for services;

            (n) To provide solid waste disposal services for the member municipalities, the inhabitants thereof, and the businesses therein, and for such others as its facilities and obligations may allow;

            (o) To contract to pay for solid waste disposal services including without limitation on the basis of guaranteed amounts, whether delivered for disposal and accepted for disposal or not, of solid waste, with payments based on such guaranteed amounts, whether actually disposed of or not, which payments may be variable and may be determined by formulae expressed in such contracts;

            (p) To contract with any member municipality for the services of any officers or employees of that municipality useful to the District;

            (q) To promote cooperative arrangements and coordinated action among its member municipalities;

            (r) To make recommendations for review and action to its member municipalities and  other public agencies which perform functions within the region in which its  member municipalities are located;

            (s) To exercise any other powers which are necessary or desirable for dealing with solid waste problems of mutual concern and which are exercised or are capable of exercise by any of its member municipalities;

            (t) To establish a budget and assess member municipalities in accordance therewith;

            (u) To appropriate and expend monies;

            (v) To establish sinking funds for the retirement of bonded or other indebtedness;

            (w) To establish debt service reserve funds, operating reserve funds, capital reserve funds for public improvements, and such other funds and accounts as the Board of Commissioners deems necessary or desirable;

            (x) To regulate by ordinance, rule, or regulation the collection, transportation, resource recovery, recycling and disposal of solid waste within the District and to require that acceptable solid wastes generated within the District and any member municipality therein shall be disposed of only in and upon facilities operated by or on behalf of the District;

            (y) To enact and enforce any and all necessary or desirable regulations for the orderly conduct of the government and for carrying out the purpose of the District;

            (z) To enter on any lands and premises for the purpose of making surveys and conducting hydrogeological and other scientific studies and to obtain an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction in the event entry is denied or resisted;

            (aa) To enter into cooperative or interlocal agreements with other municipalities or persons, within or beyond the territorial limits of the District, providing for the disposal and management of solid waste;

            (ab) To exercise the power of eminent domain within any municipality which has withdrawn from the District, provided that such property or site to be taken by eminent domain must have been considered, by official action of the Board of Commissioners, as a potential site or sites for a solid waste management facility during the twelve month period immediately preceding the date of withdrawal;

            (ac) To appoint a grand juror, a constable, and such other officers and agents for the enforcement of ordinances, rules, and regulations of the District. The District grand juror shall have the same powers, perform the same duties, and incur the same liabilities as grand jurors in towns, and shall be entitled to such salary as the Board of Commissioners may determine within limits established by the budget. The District grand juror may prosecute before applicable Vermont courts violations of the ordinances, rules, and regulations of the District;

            (ad) To enter into contracts with banks, insurance companies or other financial institutions so as to obtain a letter of credit, bond insurance, or other forms of financial guarantees or credit enhancement in connection with District bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness;

            (ae) To enter into sitting agreements with municipalities within which a District facility is to be located, which agreements may specify the terms, conditions and provisions under which a District facility shall be constructed, maintained, and operated. Such agreements may further provide that, in the event it is impossible or impracticable to determine whether damage to the environment is caused by the District facility or from adjacent property, the District may indemnify and hold harmless the municipality from any such damage, costs, and liabilities;

            (af) To provide host communities of District facilities with incentive payments, services, and benefits including, but not limited to (i) monetary payments to protect the health, safety, comfort, convenience, and social and economic security of the host community and its inhabitants, (ii) monetary payments and other provisions to assure the protection of the environment and natural resources of the host community, and (iii) reimbursement of costs incurred by the host community in  negotiating siting agreements including but not limited to costs of mediation or arbitration;

            (ag) To exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient or incidental to the carrying out of the District's purpose and to exercise all powers granted by any Act of the Legislature of the State of Vermont either generally to a class of solid waste  districts including the District or specifically to the District. Such powers may be exercised by the District without further amendment of this charter unless specifically required by such Act of the Legislature of the State of Vermont granting such powers.