Hudson Saves with Curbside

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Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RBarnes » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:10 am

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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby bobandgeri » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:10 pm

Perhaps we can import some of the board of selectmen from Hudson - they not only save money, but they make good decissions for what the majoirty of the town wants!
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RayWhipple » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:35 pm

Shows curbside will save money.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby ggkrupp » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:57 pm

RayWhipple wrote:Shows curbside will save money.


Shows curbside can save money.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby andysinnh » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:02 pm

Technically, the article shows that a change in vendor/process can save money with curbside - as compared to the previous contract. It doesn't compare/contrast curbside vs any other type of trash disposal (i.e. TS). It would be interesting to see how much $$ has been saved since the inception of curbside vs previous methods - but that's not discussed......

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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RBarnes » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:22 pm

ggkrupp wrote:
RayWhipple wrote:Shows curbside will save money.


Shows curbside can save money.


No, when the solid waste committee looked into it we will save money because we wouldn't be supporting a middleman. If you add in the cost people pay in gas in their cars and what those not using the station pay to hire haulers, we as a town are paying a LOT more for waste removal. There's no if, ands or ors about it. Facts are there for anyone willing to look.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby Fitzie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:59 pm

I spoke to the gentleman who was in charge of Hudson's SW while researching the matter some 8 years ago. He was nice enough to respond with a letter stating the following (among other things).

In my opinion if the Town of Merrimack were to build a transfer station it would be taking a major step backwards.


I passed this letter along to the administration and BOS in place at the time along with letters from WM and BFI (#'s 1 and 2 in terms of volume in MMK)explicitely stating they WOULD NOT USE the MMK transfer station if tipping fees exceeded $X. Oddly enough, none of this ever came to light.

Gary - this is the exact moment MMK could have leveraged its position in the market. Once the TS was built any leverage the town had was gone. He who owns the ultimate disposal capacity rules and when MMK's landfill reached capacity the only leverage MMK had rested in the VOLUME the town as a whole represented. What's maddening is that the TS was sold to the people as a mechanism for cost savings when in fact it represented a large increase in costs as compared to a townwide CS program (the only 2 options available when the landfill closed). The numbers aren't even close.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby ggkrupp » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:36 pm

Fitzie wrote:Gary - this is the exact moment MMK could have leveraged its position in the market. Once the TS was built any leverage the town had was gone. He who owns the ultimate disposal capacity rules and when MMK's landfill reached capacity the only leverage MMK had rested in the VOLUME the town as a whole represented. What's maddening is that the TS was sold to the people as a mechanism for cost savings when in fact it represented a large increase in costs as compared to a townwide CS program (the only 2 options available when the landfill closed). The numbers aren't even close.


Rick & Fitzie,

Not disputing that curbside can save the town money. My point was that it also could cost more if not done right. Whatever the strategy, we need competent and learned leaders to develop the best plan, negotiate the contracts, gain buy-in from the voting public and, most importantly, implement the plan. I was simply pointing out that choosing to go curbside side does not necessarily equal money saved ... we could still blow it by faltering on one or more of the items I've listed.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RBarnes » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:06 pm

ggkrupp wrote:Not disputing that curbside can save the town money. My point was that it also could cost more if not done right.


It would be really hard for the town NOT to save money when you add up all the costs of what we spend now as a whole on solid waste removal.

Look at the numbers:

The 11-12 budget has solid waste at $1,159,527 and that doesn't factor in any hidden costs from other areas of the budget.
If we figure 9,000 homes in Merrimack and the town budget is roughly 50/50 between home property tax and other sources that comes out to $64.42 per household just to run the facility taking in 7,500 tons of trash with a tipping fee of $63 (all of this can be found in the town budget online).

The transfer station is 1 mile in on Lawrence Rd so just traveling down Lawrence Rd and back is a 2 mile round trip. Let's be very conservative and say that the average user only travels a 5 mile round trip. At the lowest gas prices currently available which is around $3.17 a gallon and assuming they average 25 miles a gallon (which I think is far generous for most of the SUVs, pickups and other vehicles hauling trailers behind them) and assuming an average of 1 trip per week we're looking at a total of 260 total miles/ 25 miles per gallon = 10.4 gallons of gas at $3.17 each comes to another $32.97

So that puts the average self hauler at $97.39 a year.

The person hiring curbside so far is paying $64.42 in taxes for a facility they aren't using plus their hauler costs. I'm not aware of any haulers charging less then $100 a year so lets be really generous and only use $100 as their total... that's $164.42 a year for people not even using the facility. Add in gas costs to those using a mix of both and you'll come up with an even higher number.

Now based on the numbers from the solid waste committees before the transfer station was built around 2/3 of the town use haulers. The most generous estimation in favor of the station is a 50/50 split so let's take that for our math...

That means 4500 homes are paying out $97.39 a year and 4500 homes pay at least $164.42 a year add that all up and we're currently paying out at the very least $1,178,145 not even factoring in what comes from business property taxes and other sources.

We could add to that how much the town spent to built the facility but even if we closed it down tomorrow that's money we'll never get back so we can ignore that.


On the flip side of the coin we have the curbside option. Taking one of the worst quotes we had when we looked at cost, which was a 1 year quote we would be looking at $1.8 million. We had options as low as $1.5 million at the time and this was at a time when the town did very little recycling so I'm sure the town can find something better yet leveraging that in.

At $1.8 million again split 50/50 and broken out against 9,000 homes we would pay out $100 per household. The only ones seeing any savings are the self haulers living less then 2.5 miles from the transfer station and even they would only see a $2.61 increase factoring in the worse case for curbside and best case for the station. If we could get a multi-year contract at $1.5 million it would come down to $83.33 per household saving EVERYONE money.

And we're also accounting here that everyone who self hauls time is worthless so the time saved from having to just push a can to the end of the driveway instead of driving across town could also be considered.

One other thing to consider... if you go down to town hall and request the transcript from the original town forum before this one came around you'll see an interesting debate for what to do with the site the station currently sites on. One option was to open a town run golf course which would have been a source of revenue. Even if the town sold off the non polluted land we'd add some land back to the tax base and gain a little revenue from it not to mention the revenue from the sale of any of that land.

It's hard to not see savings.

Here's one more exercise add up the amounts we're spending...
$1,159,527 the budget amount for the site
$450,000 at $100 per 4500 homes for curbside haulers
$148,365 in gas traveling to the site (assuming $3.17 a gallon with 25 MPG and an average 2.5 mile trip for half the population at 4500 homes)

That's $1,757,892 and that's a best case scenario.

If we assume 2/3 hire curbside at a more realistic price of around $120 a year we'd see that middle amount jump up to $720,000 were as gas costs would only drop to $98,910 putting the total the town spends at $1,978,437 and even that would be a generous figure. Add in gas for people who do both self haul and hire and you see the number jump even higher.

It's hard to come up with a scenario were people wouldn't save money unless you play fuzzy math as the selectmen who pushed the station on this town did and not take any self hauler amounts into account and offset the cost of the facility with their revenue treating it like money from heaven that doesn't actually come from anyone's pocket.

People can argue all they want that I'm bias since I live on Lawrence Rd, I don't hide that. I'd like more then anything to see that site gone but numbers don't lie. Unless you out right ignore costs associated with what we're paying out its hard to find any way not to show savings with curbside. If anyone feels I'm incorrect I'd love to see other numbers showing otherwise.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby bobandgeri » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:02 pm

Wow - would love to know who does curbside for even $120 a year as we're paying $35 per month for Houle.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby FromMerrimack » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:24 pm

"fuzzy math"?
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RBarnes » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:10 pm

FromMerrimack wrote:"fuzzy math"?


Yes, when the selectmen use revenue from haulers to offset the cost to the town but don't account for where the money comes from in the first place, that's fuzzy math. They used the hauler revenue as money from heaven to attempt to claim there was a $1 million savings over curbside. It was basically ignoring the money being taken from the left pocket from the town's people and looking only at the right pocket.

And since the haulers aren't even using the site it turned out even more expensive to the town then they claimed since the money from heaven choose to go to other sites.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby RBarnes » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:17 pm

bobandgeri wrote:Wow - would love to know who does curbside for even $120 a year as we're paying $35 per month for Houle.


Apparently I was off on what haulers charge. Bump that $120 up to $420. If that's even semi close to average and only half the town pays it we're looking at $1,890,000 paid out in hauler fees instead of the $450,000 I estimated.

Sure makes curbside look even better. According to the article Hudson is paying about $1.5 million and they are close in size as Merrimack (24,000 where I think Merrimack is around 29,000). We could afford to run the transfer station AND have curbside based on that cost and we'd still spend less then we're apparently paying out now.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby Fitzie » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:13 pm

FromMerrimack wrote:"fuzzy math"?


You don't want to go there MMK. A town-wide muni curbside program would save that "majority" you speak of so fondly a boatload of money.
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Re: Hudson Saves with Curbside

Postby FromMerrimack » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:23 pm

Fitzie wrote:
FromMerrimack wrote:"fuzzy math"?


You don't want to go there MMK. A town-wide muni curbside program would save that "majority" you speak of so fondly a boatload of money.


Excuse me. I'll go there! I've been here for almost forty years and I'm still here while you are not. My comment was in reference to $120 as compared to $420 as Mr Barnes noted that he was apparently off. Quite a bit to be off I would say. That was fuzzy math. Make numbers be what you want, let the reader think you are right. I want the Transfer Station. I do not want curbside. I do not want PAYT. My votes have gone that way including many past operating budgets. I think the record shows that I'm in the majority of the VOTERS. I have been in the minority on a few votes but I accept reality and move on. On the ballot, the majority DOES rule. Support curbside for those you left behind if you wish but my vote counts, not yours.
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