NORTHAMPTON — A new group is forming in the city to find ways to stem the tide of items that end up in the city’s Glendale Road landfill.
Calling itself the ReUse Group, the panel has actually met once already, but is seeking more members as it prepares for a second meeting Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Department of Public Works headquarters on Locust Street.
Karen Bouquillon, the city’s solid waste supervisor, said the group aims to make it easier for residents to reduce what they dump in the landfill by offering convenient ways for more items to be reused. “It’s what’s going into the landfill that doesn’t need to go into the landfill,” she said.
Board of Public Works member MJ Adams, who co-chairs the committee with Rosemary Schmidt, also a BPW member, said it is important that the committee come up with a plan for improving the reuse program before the landfill closes.
“We could do better than we do on this,” she said. “The less we have to transport out of town and pay for, the more manageable it will be.”
While the long-term goal is to open a reuse facility, in the short term the group will plan one-time events to promote reuse and educate the public about ways to keep items out of the landfill.
For some time, city residents have been eager to start a swap center, sometimes known as a take-it-or-leave-it spot, that many other communities have established. But because Northampton’s Locust Street recycling center doesn’t have room for one, the idea never got off the ground.
One location being considered for the new swap center is the state highway department’s land next to the Locust Street recycling center, although other locations will be considered, she said.
“One of the priorities is that it be centrally located,” said Bouquillon.
She said the panel intends to work with other groups with a similar focus, including nonprofit thrift stores, or building materials groups dedicated to reuse.
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