Dublin voters must decide on recycling storage structures

  • Tom Kennedy and a model of a storage building proposed for Dublin's transfer station. Courtesy image—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/14/2021 4:23:49 PM

There’s no question the Dublin Transfer Station’s storage trailers need to be replaced. The question before voters is, what to replace them with? Transfer station superintendent Tom Kennedy is rooting for a new building, rather than more trailers.

The transfer station’s current trailers are 20 years old on average, he said. Two are condemned, another was never suited for storage, and another is being braced to prevent it from collapsing. Trailers present a number of safety issues for transfer station staff, Kennedy said. “The roofs leak, the floors rot, the forklift keeps falling through,” he said, “and then they sink into the mud.” Furthermore, it’s easy for trailer roofs to sag and collapse under ice and snow, so trailers need to either be shoveled or reinforced, Kennedy said. “I just don’t think they’re worth it,” he said. 

Kennedy proposed spending $110,000 from the town’s recycling special revenue fund to construct a new storage building. A 40 by 15 by 15-foot pre-engineered steel storage building would streamline operations, increase revenue, and improve the appearance of the transfer station, he said. It would provide 43 percent more storage space while occupying the same footprint as the existing trailers, he said, which would provide a wider range of outlets for the town’s recyclables and eliminate unnecessary hauling and sorting costs.

However, Dublin’s Select Board and Budget Committee did not recommend the building, which is therefore listed as a petition article, number 18 on the warrant. They instead recommended Article 19, which would spend $20,000 of the recycling special revenue fund to buy four replacement trailers.

“I don’t think you would fare any better with newer trailers,” Kennedy said, noting that the price would necessitate purchasing them secondhand.

The recycling special revenue fund is funded by selling recyclables and collecting tipping fees for different items, and has $199,120.38 as of Monday, Kennedy said. Since Dublin started recycling in 1989, the fund has purchased $200,000 worth of supplies, including balers, a compactor, a forklift, three storage trailers, and the swap shop, he said. 

Dublin suspended recycling from March through the end of June 2020, and again in November out of COVID-19 concerns, Kennedy said. Recycling of all items was finally reinstituted on Wednesday, he said. “Everything’s been going to the landfill in the meantime,” he said, although some die-hard recyclers were bringing their materials to Keene.

Dublin’s outdoor, drive-in style Town Meeting is scheduled for May 1 at Cricket Hill Farm, also known as the Antique Engine Field, at 1716 Main Street in Dublin as the Town Meeting location, with the ConVal High School parking lot as a backup location.

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