10/19/2021 TSC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Transfer Station Committee Meeting
October 19th, 2021
Present: Barry Zitser, Nancy Strand, Chris Jensen, Andrea Bryant, Julie Seeley, Betsy Phillips, Margaret Gale, Katherine Darges, Carol Bays (from BES), Coryanne Mansell (Center for Eco Technologies, guest speaker)
Guest Speaker / Center for Eco Technologies Grant
Barry introduced our guest speaker, Coryanne Mansell from the Center for Eco Technologies. They recently received an USDA grant to provide assistance to rural communities to help with food waste diversion. CET has reached out to the Transfer Station Committee to help reach businesses and organizations in Bethlehem about this grant opportunity. Coryanne presented what CET, a non-profit organization, does and what kind of assistance the grant provides. There was also Q & A. Barry and Nancy noted that there were some other businesses who showed interest and would like a recording of this presentation. After the presentation, Carol Bays from BES wanted to get all the information that Coryanne said she would send and expressed interest in the grant. No application process is required.
Barry suggested that getting the support from the Select Board might go a long way to getting more participation in this grant opportunity. After much discussion, a resolution was drafted and unanimously approved as follows:
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a Rural Utilities Grant (“Grant”) to the Center for Eco Technology to provide to K-12 schools and businesses in our region, at no cost, technical assistance on solid waste management matters, including, but not limited to, proper source separation techniques, appropriate bins and waste containers, customizing signage, etc.; and
WHEREAS, the grant is scheduled to begin in October; and
WHEREAS, the Center for Eco Technology is a non-profit organization which has, for more than 40 years, partnered throughout the country to address climate change by diverting waste from landfills, promoting cost-efficient energy efficiency, and reducing greenhouse gases, through technologies which have the least disruptive impact on the natural ecology; and
WHEREAS, the Center for Eco Technology previously provided the Transfer Station Committee with a helpful guest speaker on options for future management of the Town’s solid waste; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Transfer Station Committee (Committee) recommend that the Select Board endorse and encourage the Committee to identify and refer Town businesses and educational facilities to the Center for Eco Technology for purposes of taking advantage of this Grant.
The Future Use of Rte 116 Site
A long discussion was then held about the Rte 116 site and its future use, as well as the current use by the police department for training purposes. The committee felt it was important to send a resolution to the Select Board regarding the preservation of this site for a future transfer station. Andrea pointed out it was zoned for a transfer station back in 2005. Chris related that the Select Board decided to put together an exploratory group that included the police chief, at least one Select Board member, and at least one member of the Transfer Station Committee. Andrea Bryant and Barry Zitser volunteered to serve on this group. The following resolution was approved unanimously to send to the Select Board:
RESOLVED, that the Transfer Station Committee believes that the Route 116 site, as the Town’s prior transfer station site as so zoned in 2005, is still the most appropriate site for a transfer station upon the closing of the landfill.
Free Store / Swap Shop
Nancy pointed out that we should consider not waiting for our future transfer station to open a Free Store or Swap Shop since Casella has indicated they don’t plan on re-opening one at the landfill. Chris suggested using the public hearing on how to spend our federal money to bring this up. Andrea suggested having a town-wide garage sale on town property like the gazebo yard. Julie also pointed out there are free FB groups. Barry suggested we re-contact Casella to see if they would reopen the one there. Julie thought they were now using that space for storage needs. Chris wondered if the Town Garage might be a good location, especially if a new building is built. Nancy agreed she’ll need to research estimated costs including plowing in winter.
Barry reported on a USDA grant that Chris brought to our attention. We can take advantage of this grant through CET, as described earlier in the meeting. Barry pointed out the applications are accepted annually. Funds cannot be used for construction or equipment purchases. The one way we could use this grant is for technical assistance and training to help communities reduce waste. Barry believes we should revisit this grant once we’re closer to having our own transfer station.
Just Be Greener / Textile Recycle Bin
Nancy reported that the latest approved issue of Just Be Greener still hasn’t been published since the textile recycling bin still has not been delivered.
Barry reported on appeals involving the landfill. As mentioned in our last meeting, the lawsuits from CLF have been closed. However, the legislature adopted a bill (HB413) to begin a comprehensive and updated waste management plan for the state. He thinks their meetings will start soon if they haven’t already. Two appeals are in front of the Waste Management Council. One by CLF. There haven’t been any hearings yet on that one. Another by NCES regarding the height of the landfill, asking for a stay on the order to reduce the height. That was denied. Julie reported that last week, DES asked NCES for more information on what they planned to do with all the waste overages. To her knowledge, NCES has not responded yet to that request.
Discussion was held on the efforts to clean up the TSC Membership list, which also affects quorums. We did hear from Steven Yancey and Chris McGrath. A resolution was approved unanimously as follows:
RESOLVED, that the Transfer Station Committee reserves the right to recommend to the Select Board to remove any member who misses three meetings in a row.
A list of inactive member names from years ago was put together and submitted to Chris to take to the Select Board, asking to remove these names from membership of the TSC. Barry agreed to send the new resolution to both Stephen and Chris so that they would be aware of this new procedure.
Approval of Minutes from September 14th
It was moved to accept the minutes and approved unanimously, with one abstention.
Chris and Margaret mentioned that Representative Tim Egan from Sugar Hill had entered some good bills recently in the NH legislature. These include a bottle bill, an increase fines for littering, authorization of municipalities to collect compost. Nancy mentioned Representative Egan is also a proponent of cannabis legalization.
Set for Tuesday, Dec 14th at 6:30pm.
Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned.