Ad-hoc Figures

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Ad-hoc Figures

Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Tue Nov 26, 2002 2:41 pm

Below is a comparison between the two most likely scenarios at this point. Please take note that in both cases the Solid Waste Disposal Fund is used to offset up-front capital costs.

"Capital Cost" is the total value of the up-front expenditures after $1,360,000 SWDF Surplus Reduction.
"Amortized Capital Cost" is the yearly impact of the up-front expenditures.
"Operating Cost" is the yearly municipal costs to operate the program.
"Private Collection" is the out of pocket cost of private collection (non-municipally managed) used by Single and Multi-Families.
"Self Haul" is the out of pocket cost to Single Families that deliver their own waste to a transfer station.
"Yearly total" is the total economic cost to the community for each program.

Option 1 – Transfer Station at Existing Fearon Road Site
Up Front Capital Costs: $873,000 ($2,233,000 - $1,360,000 SWDF)

Amortized Capital Costs of the $873,000: $110,329
Municipal Operating Cost: $1,289,801
Private Collection/Self Haul Cost: $983,231
Yearly Total: $2,383,361
SWDF Surplus Remaining: $0

Option 4 – Curbside Collection of Waste and Recycling
Up Front Capital Costs: $0.00 (the $1,360,000 SWDF will cover the $288,750 up front costs)

Amortized Capital Costs of the $288,750: $0
Municipal Operating Cost: $1,824,000
Private Collection/Self Haul Cost: $0
Yearly Total: $1,824,000
SWDF Surplus Remaining: $1,071,250

Important facts:
#1. From a total economic perspective, Option 4 is $559,361 less expensive than Option 1.
#2. Option 1 requires the complete exhaustion of the SWDF, leaving Merrimack no leverage/safety net for the future.

Personal Observations:
#1. Option 4 includes service for every household in Merrimack, while Option 1 will likely result in over 30% of the households not receiving any service for their tax dollar.

#2. Option 4 provides curbside recycling for every household (100%) in Merrimack, while Option 1 would result in a continuation of today’s 20-25% participation rate. This ultimately leads to higher overall solid waste disposal costs.

#3. Option 4 eliminates the subsidies provided to self-haulers, while Option 1 would continue to allow this funding inequity.

Comments? Questions?? Discussion???
Mark Fitzgerald

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Tue Nov 26, 2002 5:42 pm

#1. Option 4 includes service for every household in Merrimack, while Option 1 will likely result in over 30% of the households not receiving any service for their tax dollar.

How do you figure that, Mark?
Carolyn G. Whitlock
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:17 pm


This is based upon both testimony and letters received by the town from the major haulers that service the condos and multi-families in Town. They specifically stated that should our tipping fee reach a level close to that of their own facilities, they'd simply USE their own facilities. What makes our landfill attractive to them today is the $40/ton tipping fee. Once that is gone, so too is almost all commercially collected (dumpster) waste. This goes for business waste as well.

So then, in a transfer station scenario those who live in condos or multifamilies that have BFI, WM Pinard or the like pick up their waste will be financing the building and operation of a transfer station here in Merrimack while their waste never passes through it.

In essence, they'll be paying twice for the same service. Once through their taxes for the building and operation of our transfer station, and once to an out of town facility used by their actual collection service.
Mark Fitzgerald

Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Wed Nov 27, 2002 8:39 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Mark.

I heard that the money in the Solid Waste Disposal Fund is money that apartment and condo people and businesses have paid so their trash can be dumped in our landfill. Is that true?

So the money they pay in their rent or condo fees not only pays to have someone come and empty the dumpsters where they live, it covers the fees trash collectors pay to leave it at our dump. Right?

If the apartment and condo people pay enough money for their service to the cover expenses of running the dump, then that lets those of us who take our own trash to the landfill leave it there for free.

Why doesn't it follow, then, that we build a transfer station with the money in the Solid Waste Disposal Fund and raise the fees for professional haulers to the level where it covers the operating expenses and let the rest of us dump for free just like we do now?

Am I missing something?
Carolyn G. Whitlock
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Postby carmen vacchiano » Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:01 am

as one of the taxpayers of merrimack and someone who lives in a so called condo devolopment we presently pay buckley trash to pick up our trash and haul it away we also pay for this in our taxes. option #4 is the only acceptable and fair solution to our waste problem in merrimack we the homeowners associations must be included in the curbside collection processas stated in option #4 as i testified before the solid waste committee our association here at crosswwoodds path which as 50 single family homes presently pays buckley 7436 dollars per year which is 148.72 dollars per house per year.the service is great for those of you who have never been exposed to curb side we merely roll our dumpsters out in the morning every friday and the trash is gone when we get home. as president of our associations we feel the recommendation of the soild waste committee is the only fair and equitable solution to our solid waste issue
carmen vacchiano
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Postby Rita Herlihy » Fri Nov 29, 2002 10:22 am

As a member of the BOD for The Commons condo association, I too believe option #4 is the most fair and equitable of the waste solutions offered.

One clarification, The Commons has true curbside pick up at the 172 townhouses and there are dumpsters for the 144 garden-style units. Townhouse residents place their barrels on the sidewalk in the morning of pick up day.

In old posts, the idea was propagated that people choose to purchase a condo because that is the “lifestyle” they prefer. That is becoming less and less the case. Many people purchase a condo because they cannot afford the prices of the single-family homes on the market, thus losing the luxury of making their own choices about town water vs. well, septic vs. sewer, waste self-haul vs. pickup.

So, now that there is an alternative open to condo owners with regard to waste disposal at least, the question becomes: why would a condo owner vote to continue to subsidize the homeowners who choose to bring their trash to a transfer station?

Rita Herlihy
Rita Herlihy
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Fri Nov 29, 2002 9:07 pm

Carmen and Rita,

Rita, what you say makes perfect sense and my Mother owned a place in the Commons for JUST that reason. The decision to own a town-house or condo many times is driven by the cost of single-family homes.

Carmen, if you think today's inequity is bad (and it is), imagine for a minute that tomorrow's total municipal costs will be $126 per ton instead of today's $25 (which you pay $40 for). This $126 is not an estimate of any kind, its the sum of the bids we have for transfer station hauling/disposal ($75) combined with staffing and operations ($51).

Just so you both know, last year's curbside proposal DID include ALL Merrimack households. What muddied the water was a private flyer circulated by those with a vested interest in our building a transfer station (Carmen I'm sure you probably received one) claiming condos and townhouses wouldn't be included in curbside. This was a lie then and any similar claims this year should be treated as such.
Mark Fitzgerald

Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Fri Nov 29, 2002 9:20 pm


Everything you stated was correct. The fees paid by those with private collection DO in fact not only cover the costs of their collection and waste disposal, they also cover the costs of disposal/handling self-hauler's waste. This is an inequitable situation and has been acknowledged by previous Boards and Solid Waste Committees. As a matter of fact, this known inequity was the reason PAYT was put on the warrant last year.

Now to your suggestion that we simply increase the fees at a transfer station and let the self-haulers continue to dump for free. This is the 2nd strongest argument AGAINST building a transfer station after the fact we can't justify the up-front capital costs (146 year payback). Carmen, Rita, and anyone else with private collection only feel a little pain pain today because our tipping fees are the lowest in the state. However, when we are at $126/ton COST, they're going to feel it in a big way. How we could even be considering implementing an inequitable program is beyond me. Solid Waste is a BASIC municipal service and nobody should be subsidizing anyone else's costs. The best solution would be curbside with PAYT, for then everyone would be paying the same for collection but their individual volume would determine their total cost. Since PAYT failed, the next best thing is curbside on the tax rate where at least everyone who pays into the system receives service for their money and nobody is subsidizing anyone else.

It really is that simple.
Mark Fitzgerald

I admire Mr fitzgerald's hard work

Postby Tom M » Tue Jan 07, 2003 1:52 pm

I've watched you several times on the TV broadcast & give you credit for all the hard work you've done on the various solid waste committees. I also want to commend you for your strength as a concerned citizen & having to put up with a landfill in your back yard...something I wouldn't want.

I read your post about the flyer of lies addressed to the condo owners & wanted to comment. I've talked to the Town Manager & he assured me that money has been budgeted for all merrimack residents including condo owners. I've also talked with one selectman who has done a fabulous job & is not up for re-election & he stated that details of how trash would be hauled from condos has yet to be determined.

What were your committee's recomemendation on condo trash pick up with curbside assumed? Do you know what the town is going to do with condos if curbside is voted in?

thanks, Tom
Tom M
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Tue Jan 07, 2003 2:11 pm

Thank you for the kind words. The issue of trash disposal is not a very sexy topic, but it is very high on the priority list along with keeping our Middle School students out of trailers and retaining our State aid.
I don't have access to the information I need to properly answer your question. I'll try and post it here when I have a minute. As far as the NIMBY issue goes, the truth is the location is less important than the program. Finally, thanks for verifyng for the skeptics that ALL households have been accounted for within next year's curbside budget.
Mark Fitzgerald


Postby Tom M » Tue Jan 07, 2003 2:19 pm

I agree, trash isn't sexy and it is a critical issue. I also agree that the school overcrowding is right up there. My daughter is presently attending the very overcrowded middle school.

Don't ever run for office...we need citizens like you to keep the elected officials on their toes!

Thanks again, Tom
Tom M
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Tue Jan 07, 2003 2:45 pm

I would counter that we should have people in office that don't require constant monitoring for ethical and consistent behavior. Nothing is sacred to these people, including apparently the will of the people. Norm Carr's comments about being worried that AB would hold them up were like daggers to the heart of every resident in this town. It amounts to them saying that the fear of litigation justifies going against the mandate of Article 25, against the Town's testimony to the judge and against what EVERY BOS member has stated would be the wrong solution. What do these people stand for?
I'll get you that information about condos as soon as I can.
Mark Fitzgerald

Re: Ad-hoc Figures

Postby Fitzie » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:08 pm

bump...from 2003. Same arguments, same solutions. It is interesting that some people in condos jumped in....

You know what's funny? Norm Carr's concern over Bud led to his willingness to put out a TS on LR warrant article, essentially urinating on Dennis' "will of the people" (I used this term back then as well, but I acknowledge only for effect :D ). What's amazing is I don't recall any outrage from our friend Dennis on the travesty of justice. Here we HAD a resounding edict from the masses yet Mr. Carr, the Nursery Gal, Fran and Tony all ignored it and Dennis....well Dennis was quiet as a chuch mouse on the matter. No screaming, no comparisons to Hitler, no loss of "liberty" claims, no nuthin'. Wait, that's not funny, its sad. Here's the funny bit....

Norm Carr was OK with fudging the numbers in an effort to put an industrial TS within a residential zone but just last month appeared before the TC arguing for a carpet to be replaced...are you the name of safety.
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