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09/14/17 Transfer Station Committee minutes

Transfer Station Committee


Bethlehem, NH


Minutes of the Meeting


September 14, 2017



Committee members attending the meeting were: Mary Moritz, Barry Zitser, Martin Glavac, Julie Seely, Chris McGrath, Dann, Leslie Drier, Mike Culver, Jerry Blanchard, Brett Jackson, Katherine Darges, Jeanne Robillard, Jim Martin, Andrea Bryant. Several other people from the community also attended the meeting.

Regan Pride, Waste Management Planner from the North Country Council Regional Planning Commission & Economic Development District, was the guest speaker. His topic was “Solid Waste Opportunities and Challenges.”

Using a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Pride began by explaining the composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the United States. He pointed out that approximately 28% is food and yard waste, and another 28% is paper and paperboard, making more than 50% that can be directed from a landfill.

There are three unrestricted landfills that can take trash from anywhere. NCES,, Turnkey, ABRRDMt Carberry. (Carberry requires full sort recycling)



Solid waste generation rates will exceed capacity if North Country Environmental Services landfill in Bethlehem and the Turnkey III landfill in Rochester close by 2022 as currently planned. The remaining landfill, Mt. Carberry in Berlin, may not be able to handle the volume.

Currently, Massachusetts sends approximately 400,000 tons of solid waste to New Hampshire each year, increasing the burden on its dwindling facilities.

Towns in the North Country use a number of strategies to deal with their solid waste: 9 use zero sort recycling, 7 use pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) (pay per bag), 7 have curb side, BErliln, Gorham, MOnroe, Lancaster, Groveton and 7 have mandatory recycling. Two towns have abandoned recycling completely because the cost outweighs the benefits. This is due, in part, to the market for recyclable commodities being very unstable. Generally, prices paid have gone down over the last few years.

Most recycling in US goes to China.

The cost dumping all MSW into a landfill versus trucking it to recyclers is difficult to determine. Any waste that is compacted will be less expensive to transport because its cost is figured by the container load. However, the tipping fee is by the ton, so a highly compacted container costs more to dump.

Mr. Pride conducted studies in several North Country municipalities on the true cost of recycling. He determined that a community must include all direct costs such as trucking, storing, sorting (if necessary), and salaries of landfill employees. It also must include indirect costs such as buildings, equipment and its maintenance, secretarial and town manager time. Another cost is training required by the NH Department of Environmental Services for all landfill operators. Often, a town neglects including all of the indirect costs and does not budget for them properly.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) best landfill management practice is first to recycle, then compost, and, finally to put what is left into the landfill. Investing in the appropriate equipment for a specific facility can improve efficiency and reduce the cost of waste management.

Food waste diversion saves costs of tipping and hauling. When combined with paper and wood waste it can be composted and turned into mulch for certain uses such as landscaping. An added benefit is that paper brings a higher price as mulch than as just paper.   (Lancaster floral design center and North East Kingdom in Lyndonville are big into recycling. $100 a ton. If you include shredded paper it may not be good for veggies but good for golf courses and roadsides. Compost that includes meat, eggs, dairy tend to have more odor and have more problems with flies, animals. But if it is done correctly most problems can be eliminated.     25% of waste deposited into landfill is food waste.   Fed prison in Berlin has a anorobic digester.

When asked for advice on how best to deal with MSW, Mr. Pride noted that disposal costs will tend to go up, and recycling markets are volatile. He suggested that a community should divert the easiest, most abundant materials – aluminum cans, soda bottles, and milk jugs. The next biggest step is to get food waste out of the landfill. Further, he advised that a community needs to be creative, adapt to changes that are guaranteed to come, and to set realistic recycling revenue goals.   He also discussed several strategies used by various NH towns.

Investing in the right equipment improves efficiency which brings right cost. Should have bailer, loader to help with that, hopper, horizontal (most efficient) or vertical bailer. Plymouth has a perforator where plastic goes through it and pokes hoes not to trap air, flatten and conveyor to go into bailer. Other TS have manual labor to make bails. Some say caps on some want caps off.

Mr. Pride provided a number of resources for researching various aspects of MSW. He will send links to Mary Moritz so that she can share them with the committee. (Transfer station and recycling center design and operation handbook)

NRRA= North East Resource Recovery Associaation,   Another is     A helpful resource would be Northeast Waste Management Official Association. NEWMOA. North Country Counsel publishes “The Trash Times”

Committee member Dann said that a transfer station should pay for itself. Mr. said that the recycling market is not stable enough to allow for that. Dann feels that it could be self-sufficient if the town charged enough per bag for trash going to the transfer station.

Reason tax dollars pay is town’s consider trash collection as a public health and Safety service.


Littleton does a good job with recycling and selling. Some transfer stations take electronics and computers and separate the parts. the parts could also be pulled apart to separate metals.


DES has two types of permits for transfer stations. Permit by notification & standard permit

North Country Counsel sets up 4 collections of Household hazardous waste collections a year.


Leslie Drier asked, What is the cost relationship to recycling costs or sending it to a landfill and the trucking there.   The response was that you have to compare value of recycling and trucking to the tipping fees to the landfill as MSW.


Committee member Julie Seely noted that Carberry is municipally owned so they can say they choose to or not to take out-of-state waste. Because NCES and Turnkey are privately owned the operators choose to take it. Also, those landfills rely on the out-of-state waste for income. The state could be better off when landfills are municipally owned and then MA and CT will have to deal with their own MSW. Maine made a law that says that no new privately owned landfills are allowed.

With all new landfills municipally owed they can prohibit out of state waste.

Next meeting: September 21 at 6:15 PM at the former landfill site on Rte. 116.

Minutes from September 7, 2017 were reviewed and amended to include addition by Chris McGrath that said that “the town voted ‘no’ to the host community agreement”; and a correction from Barry Zitser that he doesn’t know DES regulations, but rather that “he has the link available for the DES transfer station rules.”


A motion was made by Mary Moritz and seconded by Julie Seeley to accept minutes as amended. The motion was approved unanimously.


Notes submitted by Andrea Bryant and Katherine Darges