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NWSWD Enforcement Preventing Illegal Burning in Northern Vermont.

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Presentation on theme: "NWSWD Enforcement Preventing Illegal Burning in Northern Vermont."— Presentation transcript:

1 NWSWD Enforcement Preventing Illegal Burning in Northern Vermont

2 According to the EPA: A single household that burns their trash in barrels produces more pollutants than a well-operated full- scale Municipal Waste Combustor* *Lemieux, Paul (1997) evaluation of Emissions from the Open Burning of Household Waste in Barrels United States EPA, Nov. 1997

3 History The Northwest Vermont Solid Waste District NWSWD) enacted its Illegal Burning and Dumping Ordinance in 1998 This ordinance was enacted to protect public health and safety and to promote responsible use of resources and protection of the environment* *NWSWD Civil Ordinance Regulating the Burning and Disposal of Solid waste

4 History Continued… July 1998- Enforcement activities began using existing NWSWD staff June 1999- the Franklin and Grand Isle County Sheriffs were contracted with to provide enforcement activities July 2001 to June 2002: NWSWD requested and received a grant from the Agency of Natural Resources to conduct a barrel survey and to actively enforce the NWSWD Ordinance

5 June 2002- the first Burn Barrel Log was completed for member towns of NWSWD in Franklin County March 2003 to March 2004- NWSWD was awarded another ANR grant to do an evaluation of the original log and to increase our education and presence in member towns in Grand Isle County April 2004- the evaluation study and a burn barrel log for Grand Isle County have been completed

6 Program Findings (2001-2002) All roads in Franklin County member towns were surveyed 656* residential and business properties were found to have one or more visible burning barrels or pits on the property 8% of the households in Franklin County were potential trash burners (*Note: The total number of burning devices discovered in Franklin County is 924, between July 2001 and March of 2004)

7 NWSWD received 10 to 15 calls per week during the initial 3 months of this program to complain about burning incidents 34 warnings were issued during the first 3 months of this program. Over 125 warnings have been issued since July of 2001 Findings (2001-2002) continued

8 Program Findings (2003-2004) Grand Isle County 169 residential and business properties were found to have one or more visible burning barrels or pits on the property This represent 8.6% of the households in Grand Isle County member towns 40 verbal and written warnings were issued to enforcement violators

9 Program Findings (2003-2004) Evaluation study Franklin County All but 35 barrels, of the original 656 logged have been verified as removed or inactive This represents a discontinuance of burning rate of 94.7% Calls rates from burn complaints have decreased to less than one per week The 35 homes still burning have been placed on a priority list for future investigations

10 Components of a Successful Program: Active Enforcement Education Promotion Partnerships

11 Active Enforcement Active enforcement and person to person contact is key to discouraging burning: Use both Verbal and written warnings to discourage repeat offenses The Enforcement Officer chosen is key to success: Utilize a local person for enforcement if possible

12 Education Education must come before enforcement Trash burning is historical in some areas, overcoming this tradition requires education Present residents with easy to understand educational materials prior to issuing written warnings Use all available mean to get the word out

13 Promotion Promotion of the program and the fact that you are conducting active patrols and enforcement is a must Newspapers Newsletters Town Meetings Flyers Radio

14 Partnerships Building partnerships is important. Having support from other local officials can go a long way in discouraging burning. Local law enforcement (Sheriff, Constable, etc.) Town Selectboards, town clerks Fire Wardens and fire departments Health Officers

15 Comments and Lessons Learned Promotion is tough, getting the word out to everyone is not possible so it will take time to have an affect Watch out for TOES. Local fire wardens, select board members and others may feel your work is overstepping theirs. Make a strong effort to recruit partners

16 Response time can be an issue. If you say you are doing active enforcement you must offer active enforcement Repeat offenses; you must be willing to issue tickets for repeat offenses Safety- be aware that some residents will resent enforcement officers on their property or issuing tickets. Use a local Sheriff for back-up if this may be an issue

17 Conclusion Active Enforcement works! Do patrols Talk to people, even if they are not burning, Yet Keep a log of your progress Hire only friendly, well spoken enforcement officers. Avoid people who

18 For more information or to receive a copy of the NWSWD Ordinance: Mike Loner Project Specialist, NWSWD Phone: (802) 524-5986 Email:

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