What is the attraction?

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Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:57 am

Deb, I guess at this point I have said over and over my thoughts on this matter. And more importantly it does not matter to the town. No matter what I say they are still going to build if passed this gazillion dollar transfer station. My point and I have said it often is that nothing will change as far as traffic is concerned. The same people will continue to use the recycle facility as it is now. Curbsiders will continue to have private haulers because it is more convienent for them. So traffic will basically stay the same. As far as solid waste. Do we really need a building to cover up our trash. My example in the past has been to just line up empty bins in a pit. Only difference instead of throwing your trash into the ground they go into these bins. Again not much change as it is today. I don't care if my trash gets rained or snowed upon. So to me these costs are just ridiculously inflated.

Quote: Pat

As a result, seems to me that your arguement about how TS being better than curbside due to smaller cost is moot

Pat you are right about being a moot point but not because of smaller cost.
Only because as stated above this town will overspend for this for god knows what reason. But if you have read these threads, I have said all along that the numbers given by town for curbside or transfer station are so close that it is not a factor for me. On my tax bill there would be no major change as far as dollar value no matter what option is chosen with the current numbers put forth. In another thread Norm posted these numbers and came up with about 3 - 4 dollars a week if a transfer station passes. That to me is a good deal.
Devils Advocate
 

Postby Norman Phillips » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:16 am

DA, the setting up of a transfer station is governed by the Departrment of Environmental Services of the state. A permitting process is involved. That is why the original SWAC, at that time chaired by Chip Chesley I believe, arranged for the Town's engineering consultant, CMA, to provide a report on what would be needed, including costs. I have a copy of that report. It was certainly written with the requirements of DES in mind.

The report was submitted by CMA in September 2000. It formed the basis of the Ad Hoc numbers for a transfer station.

To put it succinctly, neither your ideas nor my ideas for how a transfer station could be arranged will cut any ice unless they agree with the requirements of DES.

Sorry, DA, you can develop and expound your ideas, but the only effect they might have is to convince proponents of a transfer station on Lawrence Road TO VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY NEEDED TO BUILD THAT STATION.
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:31 am

DA,

I totally disagree with youyr assumption "nothing will change".

Number one, the trash delivered to the station will have to now be taken away from the station. This will require the use of vehicles specifically designed for economically hauling large volumes (not weight, but VOLUME) of material. I believe this constitutes a fairly drastic change in activity. If it did not, I don't think DES would have an entirely different set of solid waste rules and permitting guidelines. It used to be a one-way trip for the waste, now its a two-way trip.

Number two, your assumption that the same number of residents will continue to either drop-off or contract for collection is at a minimum overly optimistic. The tipping fees will at least double from today's $40/ton. Since you have continually referenced the free market, you'll understand who is going to absorb this increase of 100%.....the customers of the collection vendors. This will cause their costs to increase and the bet here is the convenience you reference as the driving factor today will soon be outweighed by the increase that will be passed on to them by their vendor. This will likely increase the number who self-haul (for $0) which will in turn increase the amount of residential vehicle traffic in the area.

I look forward to your response.
Mark Fitzgerald
 

Postby Nat Fairbanks » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:41 am

Debra Huffman wrote:I'm a self-hauler. If I foolishly wait for a Saturday to go to the dump, I get stuck in lines that waste a good part of my morning, and that's with only the recyclers using the Dan Ayer building. If everyone was using it, we would spend our entire Saturday getting rid of our trash! People like me with the luxury of going during the week could probably stand it, but pity the poor folks who have to do it on Saturday!

The Dan Ayer building has serious design flaws, all it takes is two cars to block everyone in until they move. I go to the dump on a weekday, and still I've had to sit waiting for cars to move so I could leave the building once I finish recycling. It certainly couldn't serve as a transfer building with it's current design. The doors need to be arranged so each car can back in and not block any other.

Devils Advocate wrote:My point is that I think this transfer facility can be done substantially cheaper than what has been put forth.

Well, the answer here has to be yes and no. The town divides into roughly 1/3 condos & multifamily under association contracts, 1/3 single family using private haulers, and 1/3 single family self haulers. If we have a transfer station that charges commercial haulers a tipping fee that covers our future costs then most commercial haulers will not use our transfer station since they likely have cheaper disposal nearby (BFI, WM, etc). That will significantly reduce the amount of trash Merrimack needs to service, and the size of the transfer station.

However if a transfer station is funded on the tax rate it is very likely that many more people will chose to self haul so they don't double pay for waste disposal. Only if a transfer station is funded by PAYT (and whatever tipping fees small commercial haulers pay) can the transfer station be scaled back in size. Since the town's position is that they can not impose PAYT without voter's approval (even though the article preventing it mentions the landfill, not a transfer station) it appears the administration feels they must provide a plan for a transfer station that can serve all of Merrimack, even though it likely will only serve between 1/3 and 1/2 of Merrimack.
-Nat
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:53 am

Nat,

You're right on target when you state........

it appears the administration feels they must provide a plan for a transfer station that can serve all of Merrimack, even though it likely will only serve between 1/3 and 1/2 of Merrimack.


.....however it is not the total number of residents a TS serves that drives its size. The size has always been driven by the need to accomodate the peak volumes on the busiest day (438 users per hour each Saturday). This requires many bays, which increases the size of the facility. The TS's waste volume throughput after the waste is delivered is not drastically effected by whether its a 12,000 square foot of 15,000 square foot facility. If we don't want lines like they have in Salem (30-45 minutes), we better build a facility with as many bays as the current landfill "hole" is long, or close to it.
Mark Fitzgerald
 

Postby Wayne » Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:36 pm

Boy, the more I read and listen, the more I wonder why the BOS continues to be so unwavering in their fervent support of a TS! Why are they (except Dave) so unwilling to even consider the possibility that curbside may be the more sensible choice of the two that we are left with?

They seem to have no doubt in their mind whatsoever about what's best. I sure see a lot of doubt in the citizens. If they want the public to decide, why aren't they just focusing on providing information about the pluses and minuses of each option? I hate to suggest this, but it really seems there's a hidden agenda here.
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Postby Wayne » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:22 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops: Sorry, I just couldn't help myself... :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Postby Denise O'Dwyer » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:28 pm

Wayne,
Don't be sorry. I am sure many people in this town feel the same way, I know I do. I even wrote a little peice about in the "Conflict of Interest" thread. :wink:

Denise
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