01/25/2022 TSC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Transfer Station Committee Minutes
January 25th, 2022
Present: Nancy Strand, Barry Zitser, Chris Jensen, Andrea Bryant, Betsy Phillips, Stephen Yancy, Julie Seeley, Margaret Gale, Katherine Darges
From the Public: Cheryl Jensen
Note: The meeting was hybrid with some attending via Zoom and a quorum attending in Town Hall.
First topic was what kind of sign might we want to have on the textile recycling bin. Andrea suggested several options and said the cost would be around $30 which she would donate. Nancy suggested a metal sign for some info and another sign in laminate or plastic sleeved that lists what items are acceptable for donations. Barry suggested asking Apparel Unlimited if we have permission to attach a sign. Nancy agreed to send email to them and share their response with the committee.
Barry had submitted a proposed recycling grant letter to the EPA that was distributed prior to the meeting. The committee agreed it was an excellent letter and the purpose was to let them know we were interested in this future grant. The select board had directed us to find any grants that may apply to us. The letter includes a couple of samples of the Just Be Greener newsletter (on plastics and textiles). The letter was submitted to the Select Board thru Chris Jensen.
The resolution supporting several of Rep. Egan’s bills was also distributed prior to the meeting. Cheryl Jensen reported that she heard from Jon Swan that the elimination of single use plastic bags bill has been withdrawn but she hasn’t yet been able to confirm that. Another bill that would allow towns to pass an ordinance eliminating single use plastic bags appears to have been added. The Conservation Commission also plans to notify our Select Board of their support for either of these bills. Barry recommended some edits to our resolution. Barry moved to accept the resolution as amended, seconded by Andrea. Motion passed unanimously.
Barry suggested sending an email to the regional director of USDA regarding how there might be some technical assistance to address the site development and equipment decisions. Motion to allow Barry to do this passed unanimously.
Discussion was held on membership issues. Chris McGrath has indicated he has a lot of on his plate right now and has missed the last 3 meetings since we set that standard for active membership. Motion was made to ask the Select Board to remove his name from the committee. Mr. McGrath can always attend any meetings as a member of the public or request to rejoin the committee when he has more time available. Motion passed unanimously. Katherine suggested a list of current committee members with email and phone number would be helpful.
Just Be Greener future issue topics were discussed. Barry suggested an edition of explaining the differences between single stream (least efficient) vs separated recycling. Other suggestions included something about glass or something about PAYT bags. Circling back to composting in your house was another thought. Andrea pointed out that would be a great thing to address in the Spring. Extensive discussion followed.
Next addressed is a proposed site plan review. Barry searched his files for previous reiterations. We did have a plan that showed where bins would be placed. A design was created in 2010. Chris recently walked the Conservation easement at the Rt 116 site. We have access to about 20 acres and estimated needs would be 3-5 acres. Discussion was held on what would our “dream transfer station” look like. Nancy shared site maps of various transfer stations from different towns, most in NH. It was suggested that a site walk-through by the committee after the snow melts would help by visualization of layouts. It could be scheduled in the spring. Nancy shared the New London NH’s engineering study that they paid for in 2017. Chris Jensen requested a copy of that study in order to research the firm and possibly get a cost estimate for us. Barry reminded us we do have data on how much garbage and recycles Bethlehem generates annually. Barry said he would email NRRA to see if they have any sample models of transfer stations.
Corrections were made to last meeting’s minutes which Nancy reviewed. Barry made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. It was seconded and the revised minutes were approved unanimously.
Chris had asked for a one page report from the committee for the town’s Annual Report. Barry drafted a document and it was distributed to all. One small edit was suggested. Barry moved and Katherine seconded a motion to approve the report for submittal to Chris.
Julie reported that she received a suggestion to take a closer look at the property on Trudeau Rd where the gravel pit is and have the town consider purchasing it. It could be shared with the highway department. One of the pluses is that it’s easier to access and solves the conflict with the police training/shooting range. Chris volunteered to talk to Brett Jackson about this and will report back at the next meeting.
Discussion was held on having the new Littleton Transfer Station manager as a guest speaker in a future meeting. It was agreed that it’s probably premature to do this. More discussion ensued regarding the potential pros and cons of using the Littleton Transfer Station for our recycles. It may be important to include a cost-analysis of this option.
Andrea asked if we could start our meetings at 6pm rather than 6:30pm. After discussion, it was agreed to keep the same 6:30pm start time.
Nancy mentioned that Warrant Article 13 was submitted and did ask for $20K for solid waste management.
Nancy asked if we could add a signup request to our town website for the Just Be Greener. Most agreed that the existing button that comes up is very annoying. Chris will check with Pam Sullivan about this to see if there’s a less intrusive way to collect emails for those who would like to receive the newsletter.
Nancy asked for volunteers to take minutes at the next meeting, which Julie volunteered for.
Next meeting was set for March 1st.
Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned.