The dispute over Concord’s application to expand its water treatment capacity at Nagog Pond has entered a new phase. The Massachusetts Land Court remanded the issue back to the Acton Board of Selectmen for an additional round of public input and deliberation. New questions are emerging, and this post makes a start at answering some of them:
Please mark your calendars and plan to participate.
Acton Cleanup Week: April 22 – April 29
This year, Acton Cleanup will be a week long.
The Cleanup is being co-organized by the Acton Chinese-American Civic Society. You can learn more about them at the ACACS website.
The new site to let everyone know about streets that need cleaning, or streets that are already clean, and to sign up to clean streets, is ready now at actoncleanup.info.
We encourage everyone to sign up for a site and make a difference. This service for your community can be done anytime from Saturday April 22 through April 29.
On Saturday April 29, our usual Cleanup Day crews with a list of areas needing your help will be available to give out bags and gloves, and collect the debris that has been removed from the streets and paths of our town.
Stay tuned for details! Or contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In 2015, the Swap Shop was launched at the Transfer Station in a small new building just downhill from the main recycling area (near the Red Cross bins).
Anyone with a recycling or trash sticker can use the Swap Shop: gently used items in good condition can be donated at the shop, and items can be picked up — all for free! The purposes of the Swap Shop is to keep more objects out of the trash, and to get perfectly usable items into the hands of those who can use them.
Do you love to visit the Swap Shop? Are you a people person? Will you have a few hours this year to volunteer doing something fun? We are looking for volunteers for the 2017 season.Working at the shop is fun, social, and satisfying! The more volunteers, the more often the shop can be open for business.
To get a volunteer application, please email either Corey York (Acton’s Town Engineer): engineering@Acton-MA.gov, or Debby Andell (Green Acton member and volunteer scheduling assistant to Corey York: DebbyAndell@gmail.com.
Learn more about the Swap Shop Program here: http://www.acton-ma.gov/507/Swap-Shop
30th Annual Local Environmental Action conference: Sunday, March 5th at Northeastern University, Boston, MA
- Great way to connect with other towns and see what they are working on, and gain exposure to new ideas and information on climate / clean energy issues
- Nearly 20 workshops that cover a range of issues and skills – from the future of energy in New England, to organizing in the age of Trump, to the health impacts of fracked gas well-heads to your kitchen stove
- Recognize our many victories over the year and be inspired to go back and continue the fight to protect the health and safety of our communities, our environment, and our climate
- Kandi Mossett
Kandi Mossett is a powerful Indigenous leader and environmental justice hero on the frontlines of the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. A member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Kandi is the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign Coordinator, leading the fight to raise awareness about the environmentally & socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands. We’re so honored to have her joining us to share lessons from NoDAPL and her international and national climate advocacy work.
- Lois Gibbs
Lois Gibbs is known by many as the mother of the anti-toxics movement and the federal Superfund program. Lois was a housewife living in Niagara Falls, New York in 1978 when she learned that her neighborhood, Love Canal, was built on top of 21,000 tons of hazardous chemical waste. After successfully organizing her neighbors to win the evacuation and cleanup of Love Canal, Lois went on to found the Center for Health, Environment & Justice and has helped communities across the country fight to protect themselves from toxic exposures. Most recently, Lois has been working on the ground in Flint, Michigan.
Register online here and read up on the conference agenda information here. Breakfast and lunch are included in all tickets. Cohosted by the Massachusetts Climate Action Network and the Toxics Action Center.
Below is the text of Green Acton’s 2016 letter to the EPA about the Grace cleanup site. A PDF is available here Continue reading
Acton’s Transfer Station is a busy compound that deals not only with disposal of trash, but also, with myriad options for recycling and reuse of the material “stuff” in our lives. Features of the Transfer Station include:
- a SMART/PAYT (Save Money And Reduce Trash/Pay As You Throw) pricing system for trash disposal, which ties the cost of disposal to the volume of household trash brought to the Transfer Station (TS). The short version: buy an annual TS sticker, purchase Acton trash bags for household trash at many local retailers, and then become a stellar recycler (thereby reducing household trash disposal costs). There are regular, senior, and recycling-only stickers available; all sticker holders have access to all recycling options.
- recycling of many materials, including paper and cardboard; glass/plastic/metal containers’ batteries’ cell phones; sharps; fluorescent bulbs; motor oil; antifreeze; concrete/bricks/cement; brush/plant debris; scrap metal; white goods; polystyrene (StyrofoamTM) packing; rigid plastic toys, crates, etc.; aseptic cartons; and fireplace/woodstove ash. For a small fee, e-waste, televisions, propane tanks, and even mattresses can be recycled! See the Guide to Recycling at the Town of Acton Transfer Station.
- the Food Waste Collection program, which accepts virtually any food waste, as well as house plants or flowers, food-soiled paper (plates, paper towels, envelopes, etc.), animal bedding, wine corks, nut shells, wooden popsicle sticks and chopsticks, sawdust, waxed paper and cardboard, and more. Details here.
- the Swap Shop — the coolest thing ever! Bring clean items that are in good shape/working order to the Swap Shop, and take home whatever you find that you can use! All free! See more on how the Swap Shop works. Note: The Swap Shop operates with volunteer labor; an increase in the number of volunteers could allow the shop to be open on additional days. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Debby Andell at email@example.com.
- the bonuses: all TS sticker holders can help themselves to free mulch and compost (limits apply). All Acton residents can purchase discounted home composters, countertop compost buckets, and biodegradable bucket liners at the Highway Department office, 14 Forest Road, Mon.–Fri., 7:30am–3:30pm, or by appointment; 978.929.7740; payment is by cash or check.
In 2013, Green Acton presented six ideas to the Board of Selectmen on the next best steps on how to reduce material waste in Acton, and thus move the town towards a zero-waste vision.
- A Swap Shed,
- Recycling at Recreation Areas
- Better Communications about Recycling
- Require Private Haulers to Report Tonnages,
- Explore Trash Pricing Options
- Extended Producer Responsibility Resolution
Here’s what the selectmen decided in 2013 about these initiatives.
The garden design seeks to create a sustainable tribute to Charlotte, with:
- flower/foliage characteristics that include drought tolerance;
- use of native plants, herbs, daisies, groundcovers, bulbs and wildflowers;
- easy care;
- fragrant tall plants along the sidewalk to provide screening, and between the children’s library windows;
- spring to fall continuum of bloom; and a
- tapestry of varied foliage.
See the planting recommendations for a plant list, volunteer contact info, photos, and other details.
Volunteers are needed to help with:
What: Ongoing garden maintenance— (weeding, watering when needed, etc.),
When: Any two weeks over the summer and fall. Two 1-2 hour visits each week are recommended.
How: Instructions will be supplied.
Acton Clean Up Day started in South Acton, organized by Betsy Eldridge. Her son, Jamie Eldridge, now State Senator, brought the event to the entire town. Continue reading
From 2010 – 2013, Green Acton organized an annual Drop & Swap Day in May, held at the Conant School. These were valuable in keeping a lot of gently-used items out of the landfill and in to the hands of other people who could use them. Providers of specialty recycling and reuse services were also there, and took in a lot of goods. Green Acton learned a lot about trash and recycling during those events, and decided to focus on getting a permanent swap shed at the transfer station.
Here’s a sample vendor list, from 2013, the last year of the Drop & Swap:
Bikes not Bombs will take bicycles in good condition ($10 per bike).
Big Brothers Big Sisters will take any of the above mentioned items that are not claimed at the swap area and items such as clothing, etc. that bypass the Drop & Swap area.
Conigliaro Inc. will be our full-service plastics recycler — including car seats and polystyrene (i.e., Styrofoam). They’ll be charging us by the ton, so a (small) fee is involved.
Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts will take non-upholstered furniture that is not claimed at the swap, as well as mattresses in usable condition.
More Than Words will accept books, CDs, DVDs and videos.
Metech Recycling will conduct responsible electronic recycling; recycling old monitors and computers with the costs less than, for example, the Town’s service at the Transfer Station. Read the pricing structure.
ProShred will provide onsite document shredding (3 box maximum).