China transfer station subcommittee agrees on mission statement draft

by Mary Grow

Members of the China Transfer Station Visioning Subcommittee agreed on a draft mission statement at their Sept. 10 meeting and discussed possible items to include in a vision statement.

The mission statement is intended simply to state the purpose of the transfer station. The draft wording – subject to change – says it is “to transfer, recycle and dispose of solid waste for residences and businesses in China and Palermo, in accord with state Department of Environmental Protection solid waste rules.”

The vision statement is a summary of proposed future activities and services. Discussion ranged from the relatively obvious, like encouraging recycling and promoting public education about all aspects of waste management, to the controversial, to the definitely visionary.

Discussion of costs and cost control led to a brief discussion of recommending a pay-per-bag requirement for China residents (Palermo residents are already required to buy trash bags). The proposal was quickly shot down the last time it was suggested, subcommittee members remembered.

Lawrence Sikora, who chairs the main Transfer Station Committee, talked about an automated system that could be available 24 hours a day. An identification card, similar to the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags that now confirm China and Palermo residents’ right to use the facility, would open bins for different recyclables and for waste.

The necessary technology is “probably far in the future,” he commented.

Another possibility discussed was turning waste into a useful commodity, doing on the local scale what the regional Fiberight facility in Hampden, has failed to accomplish so far. A variation on the theme was some way to use trash to generate energy, again locally rather than as regional incinerators have been doing.

Subcommittee Chairman Chris Diesch said in addition to issues like costs and equipment, the vision statement ought to mention intangibles, like employee satisfaction.

Transfer Station Manager Ronald Marois said that employee turnover is low right now and that almost all facility users are cooperative and courteous. Sikora and Diesch commended Marois and staff for keeping the transfer station clean.


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