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New Durham board hears recycling proposal

August 17, 2010
NEW DURHAM — Selectmen were presented with a proposal Monday night to join forces with a cooperative waste facility to ship recyclables from the town's transfer station to a soon-to-be-built site in Concord.

Jim Presher, director of the Concord Regional Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Cooperative, and Liz Bedard, a consultant for Presher's facility, gave selectmen the presentation. Their proposal calls for the town to collaborate with the cooperative in its venture to open up a new, single-stream recycling facility in the capital city.

The cooperative, which is made up of 25 communities and has been in operation since 1985, is a non-profit agency. It currently provides solid waste disposal services for its members at a waste-to-energy facility in Penacook.

But for the past few years, Presher explained in his presentation, the cooperative has been looking at the prospect of building a single-stream recycling facility, due in part to an increase in the tipping fees of properly disposing waste at its waste-to-energy facility. The cooperative has raised sufficient funds to build the $15 million site.

Even though the cooperative does have 25 member communities that it provides a number of disposal services to, it needs more recyclable materials to operate the proposed facility. Because of this, it has presented to a number of New Hampshire towns — as it did to the selectmen Monday night — the idea of becoming associate members of the cooperative that would ship recyclables to the single-stream site.

Single-stream recycling is a form of recycling where materials are mixed in one container and are not individually separated. Because the single-stream process is more simplistic than the process of separating recyclables, Bedard said, recycling by New Durham residents can increase by 30 or 40 percent.

"There's greater quantities recycled because it's so easy," said Bedard.

The proposed center would be the first single-stream facility in New Hampshire. It would be located on property that the cooperative has purchased off of Interstate 93 in Concord.

New Durham has been looking at several ways to further develop its transfer station after residents shot down a proposal at March's Town Meeting to privatize the facility. CMA Engineers has been preparing an approach to determine the feasibility of changing the setup of the station facilities, which are located along Tash Road.

If the town were to join forces with the cooperative, Presher explained, it would not have to provide any capital investments. It would, however, have to enter a 15-year agreement with the cooperative, guaranteeing the agency that it would provide recyclable materials for that time period. There are a limited number of specific clauses allowing for the town to terminate the agreement.

As an associate member of the cooperative, the town would be able to place one representative on the facility's board of directors, who would get a number of votes based on the town's population. If the facility is receiving money for the materials, the town would also get a monthly revenue payment; current market values, Presher said, estimate that revenue at $30 per ton of materials.

Additionally, as an associate member, the town would receive a quarterly revenue sharing payment if the facility has revenue. However, the revenue payments would be dispersed between associate member communities and full-fledge cooperative member communities at a 55:45 ratio, with the cooperative members receiving the larger portion.

If the town were to enter into an agreement with the cooperative, it would most likely just be shipping its recyclables to the Concord plant, and not its solid waste. The town would also not be able to ship certain recyclables, such as electronic waste to the facility.

Bedard said that nearby towns Milton and Farmington have already entered into an agreement with the cooperative to become associate members.

Selectmen Chairwoman Terry Jarvis said that town would have to conduct a thorough cost analysis of the proposal to determine if it's feasible.

Mark Fuller, the manager of the transfer station, said that the greatest costs of entering an agreement with the cooperative would be the price the town has to pay to truck materials from New Durham to Concord. Currently, the town trucks most of its materials to a different type of facility in Rochester. He suggested that the town buy two trailers to compact the materials into in order to cut down on costs if it enters into an agreement.

"The biggest cost is trucking," said Fuller. "And we're not close to anything, so it kills us."

Other business

In other business, after meeting with town equipment mechanic David Valladares, selectmen accepted an offer to purchase tires that were used on a town grader. The offer was below the minimum bid set on the materials, so, in a procedural measure, selectmen rejected the bid and then accepted the offer.

Selectmen awarded a bid for spot paving on Quaker Road and Goslin Way to Belanger Paving, Inc., which bid $7,050.

They also awarded a bid for culvert work to be conducted on Valley Road to JAF Industries, Inc., which bid $7,452.62.

Next meeting

The selectmen have scheduled a work session for Monday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Their next business meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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