Curbside Trash Pickup Campaign

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Curbside Trash Pickup Campaign

Postby Norman Phillips » Sun Dec 08, 2002 2:40 pm

:D The title of this new "thread" has been suggested to focus attention on a campaign to organize a petition for curbside, and ensuing educational activities. Incidentally, this suggestion has come from someone who does not live on Lawrence Road.

I have also been advised by additional respondents to inform other citizens through our newspapers. I will be submitting a Letter to the Editor on this subject later today. :D
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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Postby joe179 » Sun Dec 08, 2002 3:05 pm

Norman,

Many thanks for starting this most important thread. Supporters of the Curbside option should begin work now to ensure the petitioned warrant article is concise and in line with the SWAC report. :D
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Postby Jim Bass » Sun Dec 08, 2002 3:14 pm

Norm,

Would you welcome a pro T/S person to stand with a pro curbside rep at your proposed petition sites? The people could choose which plan is most equitable and sign. The problem, as I see it, is that the pro curbside group is a small contigent of special interest folks making a lot of noise because the majority of the public (taxpayers) would like the least expensive plan which is a transfer station on Fearon Road.
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Postby Debra Huffman » Sun Dec 08, 2002 3:56 pm

Jim,
At last! A TS proponent willing to speak publicly on the forum. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I will make the pitch to you that I made earlier to the curbside folks. If you, like the curbside folks, don't agree with me I promise it will be the last time I pitch this.

Picture this: It's voting day and you are standing with a sign saying a TS is cheapest. The next guy is holding a sign saying curbside is cheapest. You're both shouting "Believe me!" "No, believe ME!" Is that a rational process for deciding a municipal issue? Conflicting flyers in the mail, selectmen making conflicting statements... the image would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.

Now picture this: A TS proponent and a Curbside proponent go before the BOS. They request that the BOS authorize Bob Levan to work with them to develop a single, honest, straightforward education piece describing each view. This piece then becomes the basis for all discussion. Some will feel the TS argument is stronger; some will feel the curbside argument is stronger. Both will have valid points.

Why can't we do this?
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Postby Debra Huffman » Sun Dec 08, 2002 4:03 pm

My apologies to Norman for usurping the purpose of his new thread. I just wanted to catch Jim's attention. Jim, if you care to respond to me please do so in the Voter Education thread. Thanks.
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Postby joe179 » Sun Dec 08, 2002 4:48 pm

Jim,

I am intersested to know why you feel a TS is the least expensive option. From the SWAC report, and subsequent postings, this does not seem to be the case. As Debra suggested please post in the Voter Education thread.

Thanx
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Postby Norman Phillips » Sun Dec 08, 2002 6:09 pm

Debra, I am sorry to disagree with you, quite completely. Mr. Levan would not put hjmself in the position of anything but an extremely competent financial officer. He is not equipped to judge technical issues involved in Solid Waste. For example, given a statement of how much solid waste ( tonnage) is expected to pass through a Merrimack trash system, he could examine the bids obtained for the Ad Hoc Coimmittee, and calculate the cost. BUT, he is not equipped to judge the validity of those tonnage statements.


That was the job of the Ad Hoc Committee. When detailed FINANCIAL conclusions were needed, they requested them from Mr. Levan.

I sincerely believe that you are asking for a Solomon that does not exist. The nearest Merrimack could come to this was the Ad Hoc Committee.
And the dedication that they gave to their work speaks louder about the committment of Merrimack citizens than any single individual can possible match. In particular you write as follows

Now picture this: A TS proponent and a Curbside proponent go before the BOS. They request that the BOS authorize Bob Levan to work with them to develop a single, honest, straightforward education piece describing each view. This piece then becomes the basis for all discussion. Some will feel the TS argument is stronger; some will feel the curbside argument is stronger. Both will have valid points.


The data from the Committee is there. That data contains no special pleading and was accepted UNANIMOUSLY by every member of the Committee. The BOS has accepted the numbers although they are not willing to accept the conclusion the Committee drew from those numbers.
Last edited by Norman Phillips on Sun Dec 08, 2002 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Sun Dec 08, 2002 6:11 pm

Jim,

As Debra mentioned, it is very refreshing to see someone identify themselves as believing/wanting a transfer station at the existing site.

We have been throwing around the idea of a video debate, but have been unable to get anyone to take up the transfer station side. Is this something you would consider?

As a point of clarification Jim, the majority (67%) of residents in Merrimack have curbside collection and would see a reduction in their yearly costs were the Town to contract with a single hauler (volume buys price).
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Postby Norman Phillips » Sun Dec 08, 2002 7:23 pm

Jim, welcome to the fray! I have thought about your proposal to mount simultaneous watches to ask for signatures on a petition for either a curbside program or a transfer station. This has on the face of it a certain appeal. However, who would judge the accuracy of your pitch and the accuracy of my pitch? I would recall for you the flyers that were put out last Spring by the local haulers. They were grossly misleading. I will send you a copy so you can judge the accuracy.
I am not mentioning those flyers to downgrade the proponents of a transfer station; I only want to bring out the point that the appeal we would each bring to potential signers depends on uncensored statements by either you or me. As such, the physical presence of the opposing side will have no effect on the truth of our individual statements. That effect can come only in the rough and tumble of the Deliberative Session.

Finally, I am sure that some of your signatures would come from your friends, while some of mine would come from my friends. The exercise of standing together at the same time and place to get signatures would have no advantage to either of us in this respect. For your information, the best places to ask for signatures are outside of the post office, library, landfill, Shaw’s, and any active store. Good luck.

I suggest that you start a special thread devoted to the question of a transfer station. I and others will be very glad to read your postings, mull them over, and very likely respond. In particular, I recommend to you at this time that you review the Financial Summary document of the Ad Hoc Committee. Those costs were unanimously approved by every member of the Committee, including several determined transfer station advocates. I am retreating now to the Curbside site. Again, welcome!
Sincerely, Norm Phillips
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Postby Debra Huffman » Sun Dec 08, 2002 7:34 pm

Norman,
I really promise not to belabor this point, but just want to clarify one thing. It was not my intent that Mr. Levan or other designated person start from scratch, rather that they start with the Ad Hoc report and address only those areas that are points of contention. I think the TS people agree with the vast majority of it so I don't really think this would be such a major effort.

I'll stop now. I promise. No one agrees with me so I'm clearly off on my own tangent here.
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Postby Ann Goldman » Sun Dec 08, 2002 8:13 pm

Dear Mark and others,

I know I am jumping in late since Wayne does such a good posting job here but I have just reread the letter from Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch understands that Merrimack must find a solution given that the landfill currently serving the Town is scheduled to close at the end of 2003. In our view the current proposal is not an acceptable solution. We are however interested in working with you in developing an appropriate alternative for municipal solid waste disposal.

Very Truly Yours,

Dennis Nesbitt


My questions are this:
1. Has anyone approached Anheuser-Busch with the report from the Ad Hoc Committee and do we know if Dennis Nesbitt has read it.

2. In their letter to the town they clearly state that they are "interested in working with you in developing an appropriate alternative for municipal solid waste disposal". Has anyone spoken to Mr. Nesbitt about this offer?

3. Do you think it is possible that Anheuser-Busch would support curbside pick-up?

I bring up the topic of Anheuser-Busch because it appears that they have more say in this town than anyone. Obviously the BOS values their opinions more than any of ours.

Annie
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Postby Chuck Mower » Sun Dec 08, 2002 9:47 pm

Blueprints are the instructions we need to understand what to build and how it will work. Now, more than ever, we need the blueprint that has been created by the Ad Hoc Committee on solid waste

Richard Hinch, as Chairman and Bob Kelly, as Vice Chairman with so many well known community members worked all summer long to develop the information we need to handle our trash and to provide an ongoing guide to our disposal needs as the solid waste industry changes over the next few years. The recommendation is simple, elegant and indexed to our true needs are as they are revealed over time.

We should contract for curbside pickup taken directly out of town and keep the recycling center and yard waste drop off on Lawrence road. We should also look at the cost effectiveness of using municipal employees and continue to assess the suitability of industrial land for future uses that our experience with handling trash will demonstrate.

The report is complete and available for all to see the backup information, options studied and financial analysis; just log on to the town of Merrimack website.

Many people may think they know where they are going but are afraid to stop and ask directions. We are fortunate enough to have an up to date roadmap that is well marked to get us where we need to be.
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Postby Mark Fitzgerald » Mon Dec 09, 2002 8:25 am

Anne,

Very good points. I was planning on contacting Mr. Nesbit in the near future, especially since the BOS has now removed itself from the solid waste situation. At first I was hopeful they (the BOS) would follow up on this offer figured it would be better left to them. Now it is obviously up to us. As far as their opinion goes on the best solution, I don't know if they have one beyond "don't put that thing near us".

You see, AB did appear at one of the 6 public hearings last year and specifically stated that they would NOT use any transfer station we may build in town. I paid for and kept the video tape, so I'm positive this is the case. Their reasoning was quite simple: With the amount of "regular" waste they generate (excluding sludge) they must contract with one of the major haulers (WM, BFI, etc.). It is therefore not financially beneficial for them to use a facility in Merrimack once the landfill is closed. They stated this very clearly at that meeting.

Debra, I had forgotten this fact, but I think it speaks to the point I was making the other day. Any business waste of any significant volume in Merrimack will not be serviced by a transfer station in Merrimack, it will be serviced by a transfer station or waste to energy facility in either Londonderry (WM), Auburn (WM) or Haverhill, MA (BFI). This is why Nancy Gagnon's desire for an "all inclusive" program is not achievable.
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Postby Dick Hinch » Mon Dec 09, 2002 9:24 am

Norman, Debra, Joe, Mark, Et al

I am thrilled that Norman Phillips has assumed the critical role of drafting a Petition Warrant Article for Curbside.

The foundation of this petition mirrors the very essence of the “recommendation” offered by the Ad-Hoc Committee and “is the only viable option that is in play at this time”.

Norman your willingness to take on this responsibility is a great credit to you and clearly demonstrates your dedication to the residents of our Town.

I want you to know that this petition has my full support and I will provide you with any information or assistance you desire.

Thank you for providing the residents of our Town "with the solution".

Dick
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