Recycling costs rise 22 percent for Wilton cooperative

  • The Wilton Recycling Center is proposing multiple safety improvements this year.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/27/2020 9:23:59 PM
Modified: 1/27/2020 9:23:39 PM

Wilton’s recycling center budget is up more than $100,000 this year, money which will be spent in part on safety improvements and updates to the facility.

The Wilton Recycling Center serves the towns of Wilton, Mason, Greenville, Lyndeborough and Temple. Each town pays a portion of the total cost to run the center, based on its population.

This year, the budget for the center is proposed to jump from $472,372 to $576,378, which is an increase of 22 percent.

The Wilton Recycling Center is under new management this year, with Director Carol Burgess coming onto the town staff to run the department, which has been without a formal director since Nov. 2018. Prior to that, the department was run by Public Works Director Jim Lavecchia, who ran a number of departments, including the highway, recycling center, parks and cemeteries.

While Lavecchia’s position as the head of the highway department has been filled by highway employee Brian Adams, Adams is officially the town’s Road Agent, not taking on the other duties of the Public Works Director. So, prior to Burgess’ hiring, the transfer station was being supervised by an employee under the direction of Wilton Town Administrator Paul Branscombe.

“They are making some substantial improvements there,” Greenville Town Administrator Tara Sousa said. “There were a lot of maintenance items that have been deferred for a long, long time, that are costly. I feel confident it’s being spent in the right places, but it is a substantial increase.”

Greenville is the second most populous town using the recycling center, which means it pays the most after Wilton.

Last year, Greenville’s portion of the recycling budget was $97,356, and this year, is projected to be $116,140.

“It’s a big hit to take in one year for a town like Greenville,” Sousa said.

Some of the increase will be one-time improvements to the facility, Burgess said Monday, and some is attributed to a more accurate budgeting process. This year’s budget is more reflective of the actual cost of running the facility than last year’s, Burgess said.

Burgess said among the improvements she’d like to make to the facility is to improve the main building, including by making it weather-tight, but adding garage bay doors, and re-doing the metal roof, which despite several attempts in the past few years, continues to leak.

In the future, Burgess said, she’d like to see the town heat the main recycling building, but with its current construction, that’s impossible.

For now, she said, she’d settle for “tightening up” the building to prevent the current invasion of pigeons the center is dealing with, which Burgess said is becoming a health hazard. 

Burgess also plans to raise the wooden deck in the drop-off area for glass recyclables. 

There are plans for other changes to the recycling center, including changing its hours of operation. Burgess said the recycling center will announce its new hours soon via the town’s website, but said overall, there will be more hours available most days of the week.

Burgess said she will also be reviewing the price of item disposal, once Town Meeting has been completed. 

“It certainly needs to be updated. Those are issues I need to address,” Burgess said. 

The Wilton Budget Committee plans to present its final proposed budget during a budget hearing on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Wilton Town Hall. Residents vote on the budget during Town Meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 12 at the Florence Rideout Elementary School. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 




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