NEAL P. GOSWAMI
BENNINGTON -- Act 250 hearings have been scheduled for a proposed composting facility to determine if the operation will receive a land use permit.
The town of Bennington has already issued local permits for a composting facility sought by TAM Inc. that would operate on town-owned land off Houghton Lane. A solid waste permit from the state Agency of Natural Resources is also needed, and has been granted.
The District 8 Environmental Commission has determined TAM’s permit application is for a major project and requires public hearings. The Act 250 hearing will take place on Feb. 13 and is not expected to last more than one day, according district coordinator Warren Foster.
The project was considered major because the commission has no previous experience with the site, according to Foster. However, the solid waste permit already obtained by TAM covers many of the issues, he said.
TAM’s owner, Trevor Mance, first approached the town last spring about the composting site. The Select Board gave town employees approval to move forward with a lease agreement in April.
According to documents submitted as part of the permit application, the composting facility will be at least 450 feet from the nearest residence. It will be at least 830 feet from wet areas or streams.
The active composting area is composed of 30,000 square feet. Feedstock, comprising sawdust, horse manure, yard waste, hay and grass clippings will be trucked to the facility. Food scraps and other organic material will also be trucked to the site from the company’s routes.
The site will use a turned windrow system to create compost. The filed documents indicate that a 20 to 1 to 30 to 1 ration carbon to nitrogen ration will be used.
The site will initially have one part-time position that will expand to two full-time positions when the site reaches full capacity.