11/28/2023 TSC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Minutes of the November 28, 2023 Transfer Station Committee Meeting
The meeting commenced at 6:15 PM at the Bethlehem Library. Present were Chris Jensen, Barry Zitser, Julie Seely, Nancy Strand, and Paul Karpawich. Andrea Bryant attended by telephone.
Chris passed out the U.S. House Guidance for Community Project Funding.
There was no public comment
Much of the meeting was devoted to discussions and updates on potential grant applications and appropriations to build the new transfer station, along with programs to enhance the diversion of waste from landfilling.
Nancy noted that she and Mary Moritz attended a zoom conference with an aide to U.S. Representative Annie Kuster for the purpose of requesting assistance for funding Bethlehem’s future transfer station The aide collected the information, but did not want us to forward to Representative Kuster the USDA application. The aide also noted that any further earmarks will not be made until 2025.
Barry raised the issue of the December 15th deadline for applying for a transfer station grant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Chris suggested that Mary should call the USDA representative to see if our application must be resubmitted, or whether it could be automatically rolled over. There was also a discussion on the December 31st deadline for applying for a grant from the Mascoma Bank Foundation. Barry had suggested applying for a grant of $40,000 to match an anticipated warrant request of $40,000 for voter approval in March of 2024. Nancy will contact the Select Board to verify that it is receptive to recommending a $40,000 warrant, and to approve an application to the Foundation for a matching grant.
Nancy stated she will contact Mary for an update on applying for a grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission.
Paul stated he is following up with a representative from the Fidelity Foundation about a potential grant for funding transfer station equipment. Paul also provided an update on potential funding from National Renewable Energy Labs. If it looks promising the Committee could pass it on to the Town Administration.
Paul discussed the possibility of seeking a grant from The Recycling Partnership. On October 18, 2023, Paul, Barry, Nancy, and Dawn Ferringo had a Zoom conference call with Matt James, a Partnership representative based out of North Carolina. There is a potential to apply for a recycling equipment and infrastructure grant equal to $15 to $16 per Bethlehem household.
Paul also brought up the possibility of entering into a project with the Trex Company to recycle plastics. The Trex Company works with the Northeast Recycling Council and produces decking that is made from recycled plastic and scrap wood.
There was a discussion on the new Northeast Resource Recovery Association’s (NRRA) Consumer Recycling Education and Outreach grant. Barry volunteered to contact NRRA to obtain more information on the grant and to note Bethlehem’s potential interest in participating.
Andrea raised the issue of contacting the Mt. Carberry landfill to verify that Bethlehem will be allowed to use the landfill for its transfer station, non-recyclable waste.
There was a discussion on the Department of Energy’s Waste-to-Energy Technical Assistance for Local Government. Paul says we can apply for a free assessment. He noted that an inquiry could be made via email.
Chris was wondering if we should hook up with Meadowstone Farm to develop a program to enhance the collection and diversion of food waste. He noted that if the Town could develop such a program, it could strengthen our applications for grants. Nancy indicated that she might contact Tim Wennich of Meadowstone to discuss this issue.
Chris volunteered to draft a Transfer Station Committee Report to include in the Town’s next Annual Report. He will then send his draft to Barry and Nancy for their review and comments.
There was a discussion on the next edition of Just Be Greener. Paul and Barry suggested that it might address the Committee’s efforts to obtain grants. Nancy suggested that it might also address the landfill diversion of Christmas trees and wrapping papers. It was decided to table discussion of the next edition for the next meeting.
A few of the members of the Committee did not have the opportunity to review Chris’s draft of the minutes of the October 26, 2023 meeting. It was decided to put approval of these minutes on the Committee’s agenda for the next meeting.
On other business, Paul suggested the possibility of a joint project with Hobart and Plymouth State University that would involve landfill diversion of food waste for public schools.
Chris volunteered to send out a one paragraph request to Representative Kuster for an earmark to finance the new transfer station. Chris will also send out requests to all of our Congressional representatives for letters of support for a grant application to the Northern Borders Regional Commission..
Chris brought up the Ammonoosuc River Local Advisory Committee (LAC). He suggested that the Town should have a representative on the LAC.
The next meeting date was set for January 9th.
The meeting adjourned 7:22 PM.