In the spring, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) suspended Hamilton’s every other week black barrel pickup program (EOW) in order to avoid imposing hardships on families during the pandemic.  Since then, the BOS has been searching for other ways to reduce the amount of trash generated by residents.

As a result, the BOS recently passed an Organics Ban that bans residents from putting food waste and compostable paper in their trash. This ban, which will start on February 1st, 2021  has the potential to reduce our trash by up to 30%.   It represents yet another important step forward for Hamilton in reducing its waste and its carbon footprint.

A full copy of the Organics Ban is available for review at the town website.

For enforcement, the ban simply requires that every household have their green bin curbside each week. If the green bin isn’t curbside, then Casella will not pick up the black barrel. At this time, no one will be inspecting the bins/barrels and no fines will be issued for non-compliance. If your trash pick-up area involves several families, it is recommended that you paint your house number on your trash and compost bins.

Every household in Hamilton was given a green compost bin and countertop collector in April 2012.  If for some reason your household currently does not have one or the other, please request a new bin from the DPW.

If you are an active backyard composter, you may apply to the DPW for an exemption from the ban. If your exemption is approved, you will be given a sticker for your black bin.  This sticker will signify to Casella that they can pickup your black barrel even though your green bin is not curbside.

The BOS will continue to monitor the tonnages of trash and organics collected by Casella. If the trash tonnages do not decrease, then the BOS may take other steps in the future to try to elicit compliance with this ban. These could consist of increasing the price of the blue bags, returning to EOW, implementing notices/fines for non-compliance, etc.

Climate change is threatening the very air we breathe, the seas around us, and the environment we cherish.  No matter who we are, or why we care about the world we inhabit, we each have the power to act and to do something about it.  By taking action in even small ways we can make a difference.

With this ban, every Hamilton household will be joining their neighbors in a town-wide commitment to keep everything that is compostable out of their trash stream.   By doing so Hamilton residents will be helping to cut down the carbon emissions (CO2) created every week when their garbage was trucked to North Andover and burned in incinerators with town trash.  Instead, being composted at Brick Ends Farm, the organics will actually sequester carbon as they break down to produce a revitalizing compost that can replace trace minerals and organic material and reduce soil erosion.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in the implementation of this important new program.

Hamilton Board of Selectmen