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Castleberry Fairs

Tuftonboro recycling is up but revenue is not

September 20, 2012
TUFTONBORO — Tuftonboro collected 120 gallons of used vegetable oil at the transfer station in August. "That was better than even I thought it would be," commented Superintendent Clay Gallagher at the selectmen's meeting on Sept. 11.

The facility just recently began participating in the used vegetable oil program run by the National Resource Recovery Assocation (NRRA), a non-profit recycling cooperative, so Gallagher was pleased at the response.

The recycled oil is used for energy recovery rather than being wasted in a landfill and is reused as a carbon neutral fuel with fewer harmful air emissions.

Gallagher reported July and August revenue figures of $5,135 and $9,734 respectively. While collection of scrap metal and aluminum is higher than last year, commodity prices are dropping (with the exception of ferrous metals), reported Gallagher, but he noted that if the town was using single stream collection, it would be paying for transport of 40 to 50 containers of those materials. "The avoided costs from separating household waste at $90 a ton adds up quickly," he reminded the board.

Looking ahead at projects at the facility for next year that need to be considered in the budget, the superintendent said that he would like to have the access area paved for easier plowing. That would obviate the need for applications of sand and gravel that eventually go down the drains. Selectman Carolyn Sundquist said the paving cost would be added to the normal line for paving.

Gallagher also said that a lean-to would increase storage capacity and he mentioned the possibility that maybe a construction trades class at the Lakes Region Technology Center could handle the project.

Thinking about increasing revenue, Gallagher said that he intends to look at user fees in place at surrounding transfer stations. Offering an example of rising costs, he noted that the Samsung incentives for disposal of televisions are gone, and with 20,000 pounds of the electronic dinosaurs transported from the site, the costs mount up. Currently, fees are set at $5, $8 and $10 based on size.

In a separate discussion of sticker fees, which Gallagher suggested might be raised, Sundquist countered that people pay taxes that include use of the transfer facility and the current fee covers the cost of the stickers themselves.

Another issue is the number of people who don't have stickers. "Tuftonboro is easy," said Joe Kowalski. "Some people think 'Use Tuftonboro rather than pay elsewhere.'"

The board asked Gallagher to produce a long-range plan for budget planning. "Expect increases," he warned.

A related discussion on joining the Lakes Region Planning Commission's Household Hazardous Waste Program ensued. The board is considering paying the cost of fifty passes allowing bearers to dispose up to 10 gallons of hazardous waste per household at the facility in Wolfeboro. As it is now, individuals from Tuftonboro, which is not yet a member, pay disposal fees themselves.

Sundquist said that the intent is to encourage residents to safely dispose of hazardous waste, which includes products used in the home, garden, lawn and garage that are flammable, reactive or explosive when mixed with other substances, or are corrosive or toxic.

Any passes remaining at the end of a year would roll over to the following year.

Selectman Lloyd Wood noted that stale gas is a big problem and said that he supports the concept. In his opinion, "It's time for the board to step up to the plate".

Gallagher agreed and said that he likes participating with other municipalities.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
Parker Village
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