Board Quickly Approves Driftwood Clean-Up Plan

06/24/11 12:32PM By Kirk Carapezza


A stretch of beach off Burlington's North End packed with driftwood and debris.

This spring's record flooding washed up an unprecedented amount of driftwood along the shores of Lake Champlain.

Now the Public Service Board has made an emergency ruling to allow a solid wood yard to collect it on Sunday.

Over the weekend, Chittenden Solid Waste District will organize a clean-up of driftwood that has washed up along the lake. CSWD will deliver it to the McNeil Wood & Yard Waste Depot in Burlington which has a wood-fired generating plant. The idea is to keep driftwood out of landfills, and turn it into electricity.

The Public Service Board granted the request today - the same day it was made - because it says circumstances were so unusual.

"The Solid Waste District certainly did not want this wood in the landfill and McNeil was happy to accept it to turn it into electricity," said Barbara Grimes, Burlington Electric Department's general manager, who made the special request. "It is always nice to see such a closed loop when it comes to waste disposal."

The Colchester Rotary Club says it has already recruited more than 200 volunteers to help with the effort.


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