Reduce waste and the accumulation of toxins.

Objective 2.2: Reduce waste and the accumulation of toxins.

Reduce the size of the solid waste stream.

Strategy 2.2.1: Reduce the size of the solid waste stream.

Education on disposal of unwanted items

Action Item 2.2.1.1: Education on disposal of unwanted items

Distribute information to residents on how they can reduce unwanted items, and make items no longer needed available for use by others.1
  • 1. Examples of unwanted items include catalogs and junk mail; ways of making items available for re-use include Freecycle and tag sales. A flyer was developed in the past by the "Life after NESWC" Committee.
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Zero Waste Committee<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Citizens and citizen groups
Green Advisory Board
Health Department
Highway Department
School Committees
Sustainability Coordinator
Influence?: 
Yes
Ripe?: 
Yes

Create a Zero Waste Committee to promote recycling, reduction, and reuse.

Action Item 2.2.1.2: Create a Zero Waste Committee to promote recycling, reduction, and reuse.

Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Selectmen<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Green Advisory Board
Health Department
Highway Department
School Committees
Sustainability Coordinator
Influence?: 
Yes
Ripe?: 
Yes

Recycling bins

Action Item 2.2.1.3: Recycling bins

Provide recycling bins in central locations around the Town, and a system for processing them.1
  • 1. Bins should be located where their contents, if spilled accidentally or by vandalism, do not adversely impact stormwater systems or surface waterbodies.
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Zero Waste Committee<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Highway Department
Municipal Properties
Recreation Commission
School Committees
Ripe?: 
Yes

Reduce use of throw-aways.

Action Item 2.2.1.4: Reduce use of throw-aways.

Encourage the public to reduce the use of throw-away plastic (bottled water, single-use bags). Lead by example: provide water pitchers and, where practicable, washable cups for Town board and committee meetings (especially for high-profile public meetings such as Town Meeting). Leverage Scout troops and schools to influence children.
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Zero Waste Committee<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Citizens and citizen groups
Green Advisory Board
Municipal Properties
Recreation Commission
School Committees
Selectmen
Influence?: 
Yes
Ripe?: 
Yes

Packaging reduction incentives

Action Item 2.2.1.5: Packaging reduction incentives

Encourage local stores to implement packaging reduction incentives.1
  • 1. Examples: money off if you bring your own bags, sales of products in bulk, etc.
Timing: 
Medium-Term (complete by 2020)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Zero Waste Committee<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Citizens and citizen groups
Economic Development Committee
Economic Development Officer
Influence?: 
Yes

Support expanded bottle bill

Action Item 2.2.1.6: Support expanded bottle bill

Support the state initiative to expand beverage container deposits.
Timing: 
Ongoing (existing actions or efforts to be continued and expanded)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Zero Waste Committee<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Green Advisory Board
Selectmen
Influence?: 
Yes

Increase recycling and reuse.

Strategy 2.2.2: Increase recycling and reuse.

Transfer Station waste reduction

Action Item 2.2.2.1: Transfer Station waste reduction

  • Create a permanent sheltered drop/swap site at the transfer station.
  • Research single-stream recycling at the transfer center.
  • Re-consider implementing a ‘pay as you throw’ system.
  • Allow any Acton resident to get a “recycling only” sticker for free.
Priority: 
Highest
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Other Inventory Elements: 
Facilities
Lead Owner: 
Board of Health<i> </i>
Highway Department<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Finance Committee
Green Advisory Board
Health Department
Selectmen
Sustainability Coordinator
Zero Waste Committee
Ripe?: 
Yes

Private trash haulers - waste reduction

Action Item 2.2.2.2: Private trash haulers - waste reduction

  • Require multifamily residential developments to provide a recycling strategy for residents.
  • As a license condition, require that trash contractors report annually to the town on numbers of households they serve, and trash and recycling amounts, as a first step toward creating trash policies that include the curbside providers.
Priority: 
2nd Highest
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Selectmen<i> </i>
Regulatory?: 
Yes
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Green Advisory Board
Highway Department
Zero Waste Committee

Encourage sports teams to use reusable sports bottles.

Action Item 2.2.2.3: Encourage sports teams to use reusable sports bottles.

Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Recreation Commission<i> </i>
School Committees<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Citizens and citizen groups
Zero Waste Committee
Influence?: 
Yes

Enact a bylaw to control where landscape contractors dispose of debris.

Action Item 2.2.2.4: Enact a bylaw to control where landscape contractors dispose of debris.

Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Other Inventory Elements: 
Sustainability
Regulatory?: 
Yes
Lead Owner: 
Selectmen<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Conservation Commission
Town Meeting?: 
Yes

Composting

Action Item 2.2.2.5: Composting

  • Educate, advocate, and encourage home composting, and provide inexpensive composting bins.
  • Provide more composting services at the transfer station.
  • Study if requiring or encouraging curbside composting service would be practical and effective.
  • Encourage the schools to explore options and develop a food composting program, starting at the central campus.
Priority: 
2nd Highest
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Green Advisory Board<i> </i>
School Committees<i> </i>
Sustainability Coordinator<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Citizens and citizen groups
Highway Department
Zero Waste Committee
Influence?: 
Yes
Ripe?: 
Yes

Manage hazardous waste appropriately

Strategy 2.2.3: Manage hazardous waste appropriately

Unwanted electronics (e-waste)

Action Item 2.2.3.1: Unwanted electronics (e-waste)

Conduct e-waste education, and support events where cost effective certified e-waste specialist services are easily available.1
  • 1. Green Acton has held annual Drop and Swap days since 2010 that include e-waste recycling.
Priority: 
2nd Highest
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Other Owners: 
Board of Health
Citizens and citizen groups
Health Department
School Committees
Zero Waste Committee
Influence?: 
Yes
Ripe?: 
Yes

Local hazardous waste days

Action Item 2.2.3.2: Local hazardous waste days

Have more hazardous waste days at the transfer station. Continue accepting pharmaceuticals, and continue to explore expanding the items to be collected.
Priority: 
2nd Highest
Timing: 
Ongoing (existing actions or efforts to be continued and expanded)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Board of Health<i> </i>
Other Owners: 
Health Department
Highway Department
Zero Waste Committee
Ripe?: 
Yes

Regional hazardous waste days

Action Item 2.2.3.3: Regional hazardous waste days

Consider joining the Devens Hazardous Waste Collection Consortium, or a similar regional program elsewhere.
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Selectmen<i> </i>
Management?: 
Yes
Other Owners: 
Health Department
Zero Waste Committee

Non-toxic products

Action Item 2.2.3.4: Non-toxic products

Reduce or eliminate the use of toxic cleaning products, pesticides in municipal and school buildings and grounds.
Timing: 
Short-Term (complete by 2015)
Primary Inventory Element: 
Sustainability
Lead Owner: 
Municipal Properties<i> </i>
School Committees<i> </i>
Ripe?: 
Yes