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AVRRDD District to expand landfill by 28 acres

July 15, 2009
BERLIN — The Androscoggin Valley Regional Refuse Disposal District will be applying to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to expand the Mount Carberry Landfill. AVRRDD will submit their proposal to DES within the next several weeks.

The application is the first step in opening up more area to be used for waste disposal. The purpose is to gain approval for the soil types in the permitted area.

The new area is 28 acres and will extend the life of the landfill by 12.5 years.

"We're looking to the future. This isn't for today," said Sharon Gauthier, executive director of AVRRDD.

The soil types are essentially the same as those in phase three, she said, a yet unutilized section of the facility to the west of the portion currently taking trash. The new area is known as phase three north.

"We're adding it in because it really is the same parcel," she said.

AVRRDD is currently dumping trash in the northern end of phase two. Mrs. Gauthier said there is room for five more years worth of garbage in phase two.

Phase one is largely full of mill waste from before the district purchased the landfill. When phase two is full, Mrs. Gauthier said, they will measure how much phase one has compacted to see if they can add more trash to it. If not it will be time to move into phase three.

"You're looking at at least 45 years of life expectancy," she said.

Phase three north does contain some wetlands, as did phase three. The district recreated wetlands on lands to the east protected by an easement. The wetlands relocation was part of the conditions of the phase three approval process, and the district knew it would also be part of the phase three north process.

Soil composition is key to having a successful landfill. Mrs. Gauthier said under the right conditions soil acts as a barrier. Two layers of plastic keep waste off the soil, but the right soil means a third safeguard against leakages. Phase three and three north both have the necessary soil composition, she said.

The district and the state still monitor water quality throughout the site and around the periphery to ensure waste doesn't contaminate the surrounding area.

Phase three north is the logical extension of the landfill, Mrs. Gauthier said, and it is an expansion that will have little impact on the area.

"It's staying up where we are," she said, maintaining a sizable buffer between it and surrounding natural areas like Success Pond Road.

She said the district works to run the facility with the public interest in mind.

"The landfill was bought for the people," she said. "We're thinking long term."

Martin Lord Osman
Tilton School
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