Next step for Merrimack trash

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Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby RBarnes » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:26 am

With PAYT being voted down I'm curious what others think should be the next step in Merrimack's trash debate.

It sounds like most people including those who opposed PAYT agree that a transfer station that is costing nearly double the best free market solution is not working out.

I've said from day 1 that the town needs to get out of the trash business and hand it over to the free market, what do others here think?
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby RayWhipple » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:47 am

TC needs to form a committee to look into all options. I for one like the early #'s of curbside. If we go curbside, then I would like to see us move the highway department to the TS site and combine services. The highway crew could oversee the limited TS services (such as large items and such as what was talked about) if we go to curbside.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby TonyRichardson » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:19 am

The town needs to get out of the waste business.

Too high a percentage of residents already use private haulers.
Keeping the TS open is forever going to be a revenue negative.

Coming up with a system for periodically opening it for large item disposal could be done cheaply enough for voter approval, but beyond that no real support.

A full time TS is a dodo/albatross around the town's neck.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby TonyRichardson » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:21 am

RayWhipple wrote:TC needs to form a committee to look into all options. I for one like the early #'s of curbside. If we go curbside, then I would like to see us move the highway department to the TS site and combine services. The highway crew could oversee the limited TS services (such as large items and such as what was talked about) if we go to curbside.


Ray,

If you mean a town run or town controlled curbside it is way too late for that.
Too many of us have already made arrangements with private haulers.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby ggkrupp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:39 am

The next step is to take the no-brainer first step to solving any problem ... collect data! The solid waste department should be instructed by the council to immediately begin keeping and publicly reporting weekly/monthly tallies on:

    Trash Tipped (tons)
    Cost of Trash Tipped ($)
    Recycling Sold (tons)
    Revenue Generated from Sale of Recyclables ($)

This is a no cost, common sense start and why we don't already have multiple years of this data today is beyond me. :?
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby TonyRichardson » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:56 pm

We have had bits and pieces of that info quoted to support one position or another on this issue.

I have yet to see a nice spreadsheet for say the last 5 years with all that info in it.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby RayWhipple » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:18 pm

TonyRichardson wrote:
RayWhipple wrote:TC needs to form a committee to look into all options. I for one like the early #'s of curbside. If we go curbside, then I would like to see us move the highway department to the TS site and combine services. The highway crew could oversee the limited TS services (such as large items and such as what was talked about) if we go to curbside.


Ray,

If you mean a town run or town controlled curbside it is way too late for that.
Too many of us have already made arrangements with private haulers.


Why is it to late? Just because you and others went to private haulers? That's just dumb. If done right those that want to be a part of curbside through the town can let the town know and that would be a part of the bid. Remember the town is required by law to provide some sort of trash removal or a place to bring it. Another alterative needs to be done and that does not mean just shutting it down and telling people your on your own because as I just said we are required by law,
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby ggkrupp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:41 pm

RayWhipple wrote: Remember the town is required by law to provide some sort of trash removal or a place to bring it. Another alterative needs to be done and that does not mean just shutting it down and telling people your on your own because as I just said we are required by law,


I'm not sure that is the case ... the RSA simply states:

"149-M:17 Town Responsibility and Authority.
I. Each town shall either provide a facility or assure access to another approved solid waste facility for its residents. A town may choose whether to include any associated costs in its tax base. "


"assure access" does not equate to "provide service" ... that doesn't mean that I am against the town doing so, I just want to be clear that I believe the town would be within their legal rights to shut the doors of the TS and expect the residents to contract for their own private haulers. So long as the private haulers had full coverage of the town, I don't see where the town has to provide the service.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby RayWhipple » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:23 pm

ggkrupp wrote:
RayWhipple wrote: Remember the town is required by law to provide some sort of trash removal or a place to bring it. Another alterative needs to be done and that does not mean just shutting it down and telling people your on your own because as I just said we are required by law,


I'm not sure that is the case ... the RSA simply states:

"149-M:17 Town Responsibility and Authority.
I. Each town shall either provide a facility or assure access to another approved solid waste facility for its residents. A town may choose whether to include any associated costs in its tax base. "


"assure access" does not equate to "provide service" ... that doesn't mean that I am against the town doing so, I just want to be clear that I believe the town would be within their legal rights to shut the doors of the TS and expect the residents to contract for their own private haulers. So long as the private haulers had full coverage of the town, I don't see where the town has to provide the service.


And your right, they don't have to provide the service, sorry if I did not use the right words. But I can imagine there would be those that might have a different interpretation to that law but I can see how you view it. I wonder what the voters would really want? Close it down as some have said and fend for yourself? Curbside paid through taxes? Or keep it open? Now my other issue is if we shut it down what do we do with that piece of land? It really is of no other use because of it being the old "dump". Which is why I tossed out the idea of moving the town highway there and selling the land being used by the highway.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby ggkrupp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:04 pm

That is fair Ray. I don't know what the voters would want but a committee that vets a few options in the light of day is probably needed. I think outright closure of the TS has to be one of the options considered for the study to have any credibility. I also think that what happens to the TS facility is a side issue that shouldn't drive us towards or away from any of the solutions.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby TonyRichardson » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:39 pm

RayWhipple wrote:
TonyRichardson wrote:
RayWhipple wrote:TC needs to form a committee to look into all options. I for one like the early #'s of curbside. If we go curbside, then I would like to see us move the highway department to the TS site and combine services. The highway crew could oversee the limited TS services (such as large items and such as what was talked about) if we go to curbside.


Ray,

If you mean a town run or town controlled curbside it is way too late for that.
Too many of us have already made arrangements with private haulers.


Why is it to late? Just because you and others went to private haulers? That's just dumb. If done right those that want to be a part of curbside through the town can let the town know and that would be a part of the bid. Remember the town is required by law to provide some sort of trash removal or a place to bring it. Another alterative needs to be done and that does not mean just shutting it down and telling people your on your own because as I just said we are required by law,


Best you can do is call others dumb, nicely done.

The town is not required to provide that service.
Only access is required, which is done by allowing private haulers to contract with residents in town.

Right now there are at least 4 private haulers working the town...
Buckley, Houle, Waste Management, and Casella, possibly others, but those 4 for sure.
Plenty of access to waste disposal, and choice is always better than a one size fits all approach that a single vendor would result in.

I'm a Conservative, I want less government involvement in my life, not more.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby MMK » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:08 am

What would be the justification of moving the highway dept to the TS site, just so we can feel better about not having wasted it? They would need to build more buildings; including the salt shed which is only a few years old. They would need to install new fuel pumps. They would need to move all of their stockpiled materials; THOUSANDS of yards of sand, salt, road base, gravel, catch basins, pipes, etc.

But the worst part, instead of being centrally located with two means of egress, they would be pushed into one of the farthest corners of the town with essentially one means of egress.

Keep in mind that aside from the highway dept working out of there, the police and fire departments fuel and fix their vehicles there. Would you really want all of you emergency assests to have to go that far out of district to have to get fueled or dropped off for service?

Then what would they do with the Turkey Hill Road site? Sure, it could be sold as a contractor yard, but then you're running into zoning issues. I guess we could bulldoze it and make more sports fields, those are at a premium, but who is going to pay for it and wouldn't it make more sense to stick ball fields on the outskirts rather than emergency equipment?

I agree that if the TS goes away, and we are required to have a bulk items drop location that it makes sense to have one combined with highway. That way they can monitor and deal with the waste, that's a good idea. But it would make much more sense to have that location on Turkey Hill Road.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby RayWhipple » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:34 am

I am not calling people dumb, just the idea that its to late. It's never to late, If I have offended anyone I am sorry
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby TonyRichardson » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:56 am

This needs to be looked into as soon as possible.

Next year we already have two chances to ask the voters rather than the normal one.
The normal spring local voting, as well as the national election in November.

My suggestion is that the TC setup a group with this charge.

1. Look into the major options for waste management: (suggest others if I've missed any)
a. Current model
b. TS with PayT
c. TS with town contracted/funded Curbside
d. TS part-time for large item/hazmat only with private hauler curbside
e. No TS with PayT
f. No TS with town contracted/funded Curbside
g. No TS with private hauler curbside

2. Workup cost numbers for each option. An average between best and worst cases, better yet give a range.

3. Use the spring election to present some (more than 2) of these options for the voters to choose from. I say some because a few of them will not practical fiscally.

4. Use the results of the spring election to identify the two or three finalist options to be more fully explored and informational packets prepared for both.

5. Use the fall election to pick the option the town wants to pursue going forward.


I would like to suggest strongly that the free market option be one of the choices in both elections, although I suspect others would not agree.


I am also be willing to volunteer to participate in this investigation.

In other words I am willing to put my time and energy where my mouth is on this.
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Re: Next step for Merrimack trash

Postby lynn » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:32 am

you do not have the option of voting on this at 2 elections
this can only be done at the spring town meeting
noting town related can go on the november general election ballot.

you could pass out a survey and ask people to note their preferences
that way - but cannot be a ballot question
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