Department of Public Works

Consolidated Collection

Upcoming public engagement opportunities can be found here

Background


To better serve residents and examine how other communities have implemented waste collection practices, the City of Burlington Department of Public Works (DPW) is studying a potential new consolidated system for the collection of residential household trash, recyclables, and food scraps. Currently in Burlington, DPW collects residential recyclables, and residents contract with private haulers to collect residential garbage and compost or haul it to the appropriate facility themselves.

A consolidated collection system could take 1 of 4 forms:

1. Franchise Model – Franchised consolidated collection is where a municipality contracts with one or more private haulers to collect curbside trash, recycling, and compost. This model was studied by consultant GBB for Burlington and South Burlington in 2019 and 2020.

2. Franchise Model with City Bid – This model is similar to the franchised model, except the municipality retains the right to bid on districts against private haulers to collect trash, recycling and compost.

3. Municipal Operation Model – This model is where the municipality itself, provides all aspects of trash, recycling, and compost collection, including oversight, customer service, scheduling, and billing. -- This is the model the Transportation, Energy & Utilities Committe supported 2-1.

4. Hybrid Municipal / Franchise Model – Under this scenario, the collection of different waste streams would be consolidated separately. For Burlington, this option would have recycling remain a municipally-collected service and trash and compost services would be franchised to private haulers. -- This is the model DPW has recommended to the DPW Commission and the Transportation, Energy, & Utilities Committee. This received support at the DPW Commission in a 5-1 vote.

BACKGROUND

The City of Burlington is undertaking this process following a 2018 City Council resolution in order to determine if consolidated collection can reduce environmental impacts, lower residential costs, and improve infrastructure and noise impacts. In January 2019, Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) procured a consultant on behalf of Burlington and South Burlington to produce a feasibility study and take a closer look at how consolidated collection might work. The study has determined there are likely to be key community benefits, but public input will guide next steps.

The District’s RFP listed the stated objectives of possible consolidated collection to the cities of Burlington and South Burlington as:

  1. Reduced environmental costs of excess truck traffic;

  2. Reduced costs to residents and haulers through more efficient collection routes;

  3. Reduced infrastructure impacts of excess truck traffic;

  4. Increased recycling through direct and consistent education to residents;

  5. Reduced litter and increased recycling using wheeled carts by all residents.;

  6. Increased diversion by using consolidated collection as the most cost-effective mechanism to add collection of food scraps;

  7. Increased safety on local roads;

  8. Reduced noise in neighborhoods and

  9. Better compliance with state and local mandates.

NEXT STEPS

Recently, the DPW Commission voted 5-1 to support the City's "hybrid" model for consolidated collection; the TEUC voted 2-1 to support the Municipal model. We anticipate the full Council taking this matter up in September for a decision. If an approach is formalized by the Council, we anticipate implementation to take 2-5 years depending on which consolidated collection model is pursued.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Upcoming

Past

  • We hosted a public meeting on June 25th, 2020. You can see the video and presentation below. 
  • Transportation, Energy and Utilities Committee (TEUC), July 28th, 2020. See the agenda and material here: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CityCouncil/TEUC
  • 2nd TEUC meeting on Tuesday March 23, 2021. Visit burlingtonvt.gov/citycouncil/teuc for more details.
  • We briefed the DPW Commission on Wednesday April 21st (for agenda and material, please visit burlingtonvt.gov/dpw/commission/agendas) 
  • 3rd TEUC meeting on 4/27/21. 
  • DPW Commission on June 16th, 2021
  • TEUC meeting on 6/22/21
  • We visited NPA's in May and June
  • City Council July 12th presentation
  • August 26th, 2021 public meeting
  • September 7th, 2021 public meeting