Greenfield, EPA Kick-Off SWIFR Grant Implementation

GREENFIELD – Mayor Virginia “Ginny” Desorgher and Greenfield DPW staff welcomed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), MassDEP and the region’s state and federal delegation for a kick-off meeting on Wednesday, May 1 for the $2.05 million Solid Waste Infrastructure and Recycling Grant, known as SWIFR.

The City of Greenfield was awarded the SWIFR grant in September 2023 from the EPA. The funding will help transition the DPW’s manually sorted, dual-stream recycling collection system to a single-stream, fully automated recycling collection method. Greenfield is among 25 awarded applicants out of over 330 applications submitted nationwide.

Following the kick-off meeting, the city is now beginning its SWIFR outreach process. Here are some of the preliminary steps the city will undergo:

  • The SWIFR implementation team will host a series of recycling outreach meetings with the community. The first meeting will occur on Tuesday, June 25, at 6 PM at the John Zon Community Center.
  • The city is currently hiring a SWIFR Recycling Outreach Coordinator. This staff member will be tasked with developing and implementing community outreach procedures, including organizing events, setting up meetings, preparing and giving presentations and creating materials that promote the recycling program.
  • A designated webpage featuring all SWIFR materials will be published before the first outreach meeting.
  • Frequent promotion will occur through the city’s social media channels, flyers at local community centers and other communications endeavors.

The change to fully automated, single-stream recycling will provide a multi-faceted benefit to the city and its residents, including:

  • The DPW will purchase automated recycling collection trucks that will replace the department’s aging vehicles that are frequently in disrepair.
  • Automated vehicles substantially reduce carbon emissions and other air pollutants. Thanks to their larger size, the new recycling trucks will be able to double their current route efficiency by eliminating additional transfer station stops. These features will reduce approximately 710 kg of C02 per metric ton collected.
  • The Greenfield Transfer Station will undergo processing area upgrades to coincide with single-stream collection. The changes will increase efficiency in the processing of collected materials.
  • The automated vehicles create a safer work environment for recycling collection workers. DPW staff will no longer be exposed to hazardous conditions during collections. Instead, they will collect the recycling inside their vehicles via an automated control system.

“EPA is thrilled to award this grant to the City of Greenfield,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Their leadership in reducing landfill dumping through recycling and repurposing is commendable – and invaluable to the health of the community and their environment.”

“The SWIFR grant will provide several benefits for our community,” said Mayor Virginia “Ginny” Desorgher. “Thank you to EPA, MassDEP and our state and federal delegation for their supporting Greenfield during this transition.”

“This grant is a home run for the city,” said DPW Director Marlo Warner. “From an operations perspective, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our operations and efficiency. The SWIFR grant implementation team looks forward to beginning a comprehensive outreach plan this summer.”

The SWIFR grant implementation team includes DPW Director Marlo Warner, DPW Deputy Director Sam Urkiel, Field Superintendent Paul Newell, Assistant Field Superintendent Lenny Fritz, Grant Writer Athena Bradley, Communications Director Matt Conway and the SWIFR Recycling Outreach Coordinator. The City of Greenfield received financial support from the EPA under an Assistance Agreement.