ADAMS -- The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District sent forward a proposed fiscal 2014 budget of $73,681, which could be approved at their next meeting.
The figure represents an assessment of $2.40 per person within the 30,358-person district, comprising the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Peru, Savoy, Williamstown and Windsor.
"We're not level-funded, but pretty darn close to it," Edward Driscoll, Adams' member on the board, said Thursday. "We save a lot of money in comparison to other districts because much of our work is done by volunteers."
Program Coordinator Sandy Totter said, "We think this is a reasonable budget. ... We've added the services of mercury and fluorescents [disposal] and these programs have become so successful that we've had to increase the budget a little."
Last year's budget was $71,984. Treasurer Holly Denault said the district's cash balance is $25,449 and the proposed budget is "right on target."
However, the district faces a challenge in its perennial work to support recycling as the cost dynamic of recycling versus trash collection has changed in recent years, Totter said.
"Since the markets crashed in 2008, recycling has been more expensive than trashing," she said.
At the present time, the towns average a cost of $127 a ton to recycle and $97 a ton for trash.
Fluctuations in the cost of
The district recycles everything from paper and cardboard to scrap metal, electronics and other "bulky waste," or, large household items that can't be disposed of in regular household trash. Collections are routinely held in many of the district's towns.
Because work to construct a solar array at the old town landfill on East Road is due to begin soon, Driscoll suggested a new potential site: the parking lot of the former North Adams Plaza. Driscoll said its Route 8 location near the Adams-North Adams line would be convenient for both Adams and Williamstown residents, who often drop off in Adams.
The district will meet to vote on its proposed budget on March 14, at 7 p.m., at the Adams Visitors Center.
To reach Phil Demers, email