plied the problem beyond the comprehension of the general public and even some elected officials (present company excluded). It has taken many years for us, and the Nation as a whole, through neglect, apathy, and generally "sweeping the problem under the rug", or dumping it into someone else's backyard to reach the present intolerable position in which we find ourselves as a result of improper solid waste disposal practices.


We can anticipate technological advances in the years to come, not just in solid waste management, but in all areas of our society. This is our heritage. However, the present practice of solid waste disposal will not change for the better unless the public, the elected, and health officials at all levels recognize our present technological capability and admit that there is a serious problem now and that remedial action must be taken now.

Generally, municipal officials have chosen to delay action leading to appropriations necessary for acquistion and operation of modern sanitary facilities for solid waste disposal, waiting for someone else to shoulder their responsibilities or for the technology of the year 2000. As a result, the time of crisis is at hand, we have no further time to delay, action must be taken to provide for the rapid but orderly development on a regional basis of solid waste disposal facilities to replace the overfilled insanitary open dumps and some of the underdesigned and now antiquated municipal incinerators presently in use.

There is no doubt that regional disposal facilities rather than individual community facilities are more economical. The economies which go along with increase in size of these facilities cannot be ignored. The efficiency of operation and of supervision to insure satisfactory operation must also be considered and no longer ignored. It is with this in mind that the Department of Public Health encourages the regional approach on a statewide basis for solution of the refuse disposal problem.

OPEN-FACED DUMP Generally speaking, municipal refuse in Massachusetts is disposed of in open-faced dumps, a few “true" sanitary landfills and incinerators. The operation of the open-faced dump is a nuisance and invariably results in numerous complaints by reason of fire, smoke, odor, insects, rodents, noise, blowing dust and papers, and unsightliness.

There are no apparent instances where an open-faced dump is operated without creating a nuisance and consequently a hazard to the public health.

Senator RANDOLPH. May I interrupt at that point, Mr. Chairman? Senator MUSKIE. Yes.

Senator RANDOLPH. To say that perhaps the best example would not be in Boston or some other city, but, until recent weeks, we had within 1 mile of the U.S. Capitol in the District of Columbia; and known as the Kennilworth dump.

Senator MUSKIE. Within smelling distance.

Senator RANDOLPH. Smelling distance, and there it functioned for years and years and years. Now, here is the seat of Government and here is the challenge. You are very correct, Mr. Collins, in saying that the apathy is almost unbelievable.


Mr. COLLINS. That is correct.

Senator RANDOLPH. You haven't used those words, but certainly Senator Muskie, who pioneered in this effort can somehow begin to generate support throughout the country. We must move forward. It has to be an all-out frontal attack. There isn't any easy way to do this job. We have just got to face it.

Mr. COLLINS. That is right.

Senator RANDOIPH. And you are not running for office, that is why I can say this.

Senator Mtskie. How well you read me, Senator. [Laughter.]

Mr. COLLINS. Actually we recognize we have a very critical problem here, as I pointed out, zeroing in particularly on the metropolitan Boston area, but we have it in other areas of the State and, as we know, in other areas of New England, I think, generally, the public is not aware of this.

Now, in parallel with Dr. First's analogy to his wife and the packaging of materials; my own wife says, "Well, Jack, why should Í be concerned? Our refuse is picked up." Like the majority of the people, she is not close to the dump or the incinerator. I think di-associate themselves from the problem. We know from the hearings we hold, that it is a relatively small proportion of the population who are critically concerned and affected by the dumps.

Senator MUSKIE. But what they don't understand is that when the problem becomes big enough so that it is in fact visible to them

Mr. COLLINS. That is right. Senator MUSKIE. It is inevitable. Mr. COLLINS. That is right. Senator Muskie. It then becomes tremendously costly and may be technically difficult to deal with.

Mr. COLLINS. This would have become very visible in the Metropolitan Boston area if the Governor had not declared an emergency. It would have been similar to the sanitation strike in New York City and the Paris situation; we would have predated them and the problem would have been very visible in the metropolitan area.

Senator MUSKIE. When that happens the people are going to ask, why somebody didn't do something about it.

Mr. COLLINS. This is the point; why didn't somebody, why haven't we yet? The input hasn't been put in by the people or recognition of the problem given by key people or an acceptance of responsibility by government.

AIR POLLUTION Senator Mrskie. You know, to someone who travels the country by air a great deal as I have for the last dozen years, the growth of air

a pollution around the country is very visible. I have visited most of the cities over a population of 50,000 and year by year you can see that pall of smoke visibly growing.

It is not visible to people who rarely leave the city; but it is there, and before long it is going to be visible to them.

Mr. Collins. That is right. If you can recollect back some 10 years, over the Metropolitan Boston area you had a very visible manifestation of the open-burning dump and autobody and wire-burning dumps. Actually it was the Department's effort in controlling air pollution that resulted in closing out these operations and which led to the use of this one privately owned operation.

In other words, our correcting the air-pollution problem, and the nonacceptance of responsibility for solid waste management on the part of the municipalities, has left a large portion of the Boston metropolitan area dependent upon a commercially operated dump. In other words, the municipalities saw themselves not only going down a oneway street, but it was visibly marked deadend. We are at the end of the street now. Commercial Dump

Senator RANDOLPH. Are you saying that there is a commercial dump here?

Mr. Collins. Yes, I am saying further this is a very unusual situation in that the Department of Public Health is supervising operation under a superior court order.

Senator RANDOLPH. Who pays for the operation of the commercial dump?

Mr. Collins. The municipalities and the industrial and commercial haulers using it.

In other words, this dump is open under court order, originated by emergency action of the Governor and it has been operating as a temporary solution to the problem with the Department providing supervision of operation each day. This has gone on for a year, and a half. So, as I say

Senator Muskie. You say temporary; how permanent is temporary!

Mr. COLLINS. That is right, how temporary is permanent ? [Laughter.]

You make an excellent point, an emergency connotes a temporary situation. Here, a year and a half is a long temporary situation. Leaf Burning

Senator MUSKIE. On the question of the visibility, I saw an interest ing example of it last fall in Washington. I live, when I am in Washington, in the Montgomery County area of Maryland and there is a county ordinance against leaf burning in the fall.

Now, here in New England we regard leaf burning as a part of our American heritage, but the adjoining Maryland county, Prince Georges, has no such prohibition; and one day last fall I was flying into Washington on one of those blue days, and you could contrast Montgomery County and Prince Georges County. This was the height of the leaf-burning season and you could hardly see Prince Georges County. Montgomery County next door was as clear as a bell, relatively speaking

Mr. COLLINS. This is an important point. This is a heritage. I myself enjoy the smell of burning leaves. Also, for example we know the chronic odors from a chocolate factory are obnoxious even though we know many people enjoy chocolates. Within our Metropolitan Boston air-pollution region and also the region we established in the Springfield area, we provide for a prohibition aimed at open burning. We started a campaign against the open burning of leaves for which the Department was quickly criticized, saying, well, here you are directing your attention against the poor individual burning leaves. But look at these industrial stacks.

What is important, is that this was and is a controllable source, caused by the individual and, of course, burned during periods of the year when we have inversions. I think this is an area where we need

to educate the public to the fact that they contribute to air pollution. As you say, it is a heritage in New England and even though I enjoy the smell of burning leaves, substantially it contributes to the air pollution problem within the metropolitan area.

Senator MUSKIE. Well, we have interrupted your statement.


Mr. COLLINS. That is all right. With respect to the "true” sanitary landfill, and I say "true" sanitary landfill because it has become a popular concept as we find in Massachusetts and other areas, that every open burning dump now is considered a sanitary landfill. There are actually very few true sanitary landfills.

It is, of course, an engineered disposal process of compaction and daily cover, and it may very properly be considered as a land reclamation project.

The "true" sanitary landfill will dispose of garbage as well as other combustible and noncombustible wastes, and if properly operated is not objectionable, and by far the least costly of any of the known sanitary methods of disposal. Incineration

Incineration, which is most useful in reducing the volume of solid wastes, can be a source of air pollution as well as other industrial plants. However, properly designed, operated and maintained incinerators can and are operated efficiently and satisfactorily without pollutional problems or nuisance conditions. Emissions are controllable, the same as any other process, by design and/or regulation. Garbage

Garbage usually is collected separate from rubbish and disposed of to hogs. With the increase in urbanization, many hog farmers are being forced out of business and therefore the availability of garbage dispo-al by this method is decreasing. Within a few years it appears that there will be no hog farmers within reasonable travel distance from the metropolitan area to provide for this method of garbage disposal.

If ultimate disposal is by sanitary landfill or incineration, garbage and rubbish may be picked up together in a single collection, decreasing costs.

Insanitary means of disposal, namely open faced dumps and garbage feeding of hogs, must inevitably disappear as the public realizes that more satisfactory means of solid waste disposal are available and is willing to accept the increased costs of sanitary disposal methods.

Garbage can be disposed of by grinding and discharging it into the sanitary sewage system. This can result in overloading the sewage treatment plant and add to the stream pollution problem. However, if the sewage treatment plant had been designed to handle the extra volume of wastes and particularly the extra solid and ground garbage, this offers a satisfactory means for disposal of this element of our solid wastes.


One method of reducing the magnitude of the solid waste disposal problem is to reduce the volume of solid wastes to be disposed. This can be accomplished by reclamation and reuse of the waste material. An excellent example of this is the process by which automobile bodies are chewed up by giant hammer mills. The material scraps are separated magnetically and sold. Such a plant, recently started in operation in Massachusetts, has been able to dispose of much of the discarded vehicles in a major part of New England.

All too often, the present practice is simply to get rid of the solid wastes as soon as possible. The current practice in many places is to transport it to a disposal site where hopefully it will be beyond the range of sight and smell. This leads to the question of how much space is available for the depositing of refuse, how long this space will last, and what effect this will ultimately have on our environment.

Estimates can be made by comparing future refuse disposal needs on the expected volumes of solid wastes produced with the available space at existing disposal sites. However, there are many other factors involved. Individual studies tailored to the refuse needs of a particular community or region are necessary in order to determine the best method to be employed and in what location it should be carried out.

The problem of storage, collection and disposal of solid wastes is rapidly developing into one of the major economic problems of metropolitan areas, and will become more acute unless immediate steps are taken to develop and carry out a coordinated plan of action. A program of refuse disposal for any area has to be developed that will assure that the disposal procedures are integrated with the overall planning in the region, and with recognition of the impact upon the total environment.

BUDGETING PROBLEMS On February 18, 1966, Governor Volpe designated the Department of Public Health as the State agency to carry out provisions of Federal Public Law 89–282. In January 1967 a Federal grant became available to the department on a matching fund basis under the provisions of this law to study solid waste disposal problems in the State and develop logical solutions to the problem.

To date, the department has not been able to begin its planning program because of the need to clarify the manner in which the funds can be budgeted and spent. This budgetary matter hopefully will be quickly resolved so that this program can begin.

In other words, I think we have become victims of budgeting and accounting people.

Senator MUSKIE. Is that a Federal budgeting problem or a State budgeting problem?

Mr. Collins. Both. The Federal believe it is us and we believe it is the Federal.

Senator MUSKIE. All right.

Mr. Collins. Several proposed bills relative to the general problem of solid waste disposal have been submitted to the Massachusetts Legislature this year, and in previous years. Many of these bills provide for some method of regionalization for solid waste disposal and possibly State financial assistance. No such legislation has been enacted to date.

(Sample legislation submitted follows:)

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