Selectmen hear good news about Tuftonboro recycling
July 15, 2010
TUFTONBORO — Advanced recycling is the term Darren Medeiros used to describe the Tuftonboro Transfer Station's current initiative to boost voluntary recycling. He stressed the need to educate the public of the benefit to the town in increased recycling revenue at the July 12 selectmen's meeting. That will take the form of flyers, more signage, and continued availability of blue plastic recycling bins.
In illustration of the financial benefit of recycling, the two 30-yard loads of commingled plastic (#s 1-7) recently hauled away cost $30 a ton to dispose of rather than the $100 charge per ton for trash in the main stream, thus saving the town $70 a ton in disposal costs. In addition, two 30-yard loads of newspaper increased the revenue from commingled paper bales by $400.
Medeiros said that no one likes to use the "M" word (for mandatory), but noted that Moultonborough, Ossipee and Wolfeboro already require residents to sort their refuse. Paul Kelleher of the Tuftonboro Recycling Committee said that they are expecting the state to mandate recycling statewide in January and would like to see the town start before it is required.
Selectman Dan Duffy said that on one of his visits to the station, he could hear glass and cans rattling in every trash bag, representing a loss of revenue to the town. "It's not that hard," said Selectman Chair Carolyn Sundquist, "once you get started."
"The out of state people have no problem [sorting their trash]," added Madeiros.
Richie Piper, who has a trash hauling business in town, commented that if he had to separate everything it would raise his labor costs, but Sundquist reiterated that the customers could sort it themselves, and Madeiros suggested that maybe the town could supply bins for them. Piper advocated a gradual changeover, perhaps in the winter when there is less volume.
Duffy commented that a man had been climbing what he described as a 25 foot high metal pile recently and when asked by Medeiros to get down, began arguing, resulting in a call for the police. Medeiros verified the incident in a subsequent phone inquiry, saying that the man began a stream of profanity and claimed that he had rights as a resident to pick the pile of scrap metal.
Medeiros cited the town ordinance against dump picking and said also that there was a liability issue. He said there was danger that heavy pieces could have started to fall; in his opinion, he wouldn't be doing his job if he let the man continue to climb the pile.
In other department reports, Codes Officer Jack Parsons said that he put a lock on a home on Mountain Road that was recently acquired by the town through tax lien and urged the selectmen to post the swimming area on Lang Pond Road with signs informing swimmers that there is no lifeguard on duty on the town property. The water is tested regularly by the Mirror Lake Protective Association.
Road agent Jim Bean and his crew have repaired the town dock, cut down a dangerous tree on Cow Island, and continue to add gravel along the edge of roads and replace and upgrade signs. He said he has a price for repainting white lines and will also get a price on doing the yellow lines.
At the last meeting selectmen voted to modify the contract for computer services to six months instead of a year. Sundquist came back with new figures that reflected an increase in the hourly rate from $40 to $60, including a 10 percent discount. The board decided to forgo the contract at present. Selectman Bill Stockman commented, "We need to be more thorough and get all the department people into the process," and suggested they consider it for next year and go through the budget process. All agreed.
Stockman passed along a request from the snowmobile association to be allowed to store its trail grooming equipment at the transfer station. No action was taken.
Duffy is still looking for a resident to serve on the Diver Assisted Suction Harvester (DASH) subcommittee with him. He said the cooperative arrangement with Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro is receiving national attention as a prototype.
Tuftonboro is on the Department of Environmental Services list for milfoil mapping. Once that is accomplished, the town can develop a five year plan.
In response to questions from Joe Kowalski, Duffy explained that the money debated and voted on at Town Meeting is for Tuftonboro's share of anticipated costs for storage, maintenance and insurance and the harvester. He has donated a tender boat and expenses will depend in part on volunteer participation.
Sundquist said that the Carroll County Collaborative is setting up a committee on the matter of school funding. There is a move to have the Department of Revenue Administration collect excess property taxes from property-rich towns.
Mike and Muriel Robinette of Ragged Island were recently chosen as volunteers of the year by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust for their recycling efforts.
Upcoming meetings and events
The planning board public hearing is Thursday evening, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Town House.
Island cleanup day begins Saturday, July 17, at 8 a.m. at Union Wharf.
The selectmen's next regular meeting is Monday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at the town offices.