ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health has questions about the town's recently implemented plastic-bag ban and how it is applied to takeout services.
Kelly Cross of Chee's Chinese Cuisine attended Wednesday's board meeting to ask if the restaurant could use biodegradable bags instead of paper bags because if sauces spill in the paper bags, they tend to rip
This created more questions for the board, whose members said they really were not involved in the creation of the bylaw.
"There was really no discussion or presentation to us on this," Chairman Bruce Shepley said. "It did not come before the board and I feel like I am out in left field on this. I feel like this is something that should have come in front of us."
Town meeting last year voted to eliminate plastic bags from all retail establishments. The board members said they have heard differing opinions on whether the bylaw affects takeout establishments as well.
This bylaw went into effect last month.
Committee member Allen Mendel said he has questions about the definition of biodegradable and said other communities are very clear in their regulations what is involved.
"It really should spell out the use of biodegradable, and I looked into regulations and they state clearly what to look for and what companies to buy from," he said.
Board member Peter Hoyt agreed that the biodegradable bags follow the intent of the bylaw but he wanted to know how long it takes for them to break down.
Shepley added that he didn't know if it was even under the board's purview to allow Chee's to use biodegradable bags.
The board agreed to get more clarification on the bylaw.
In other business, Shepley said he will draft new trash-hauler regulations that would demand that all haulers have some sort of signage and contact information on their vehicles.
"With the unmarked haulers, I feel there should be some kind of signage and I don't have strong feelings if it is permanent or just a magnet," he said. "Just something that indicates if the individual is permitted through the town."
Because of debris left on the roads and unmarked haulers with decrepit vehicles, the board decided to create stronger regulations to identify trash haulers.
Shepley said it may be advantageous to have smaller independent haulers have their permits on them as well.
As for covering loads, the board may add a speed regulation because many haulers do not cover their load when they are driving slow and picking up trash but cover when they drive farther to unload.
Shepley said he would get more feedback from haulers before creating the regulation.
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