Concord pulls out of regional trash disposal cooperative but Laconia & Gilford remain

BOW — When the Concord Regional Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Cooperative (coop) met here last evening, the city of Concord and six towns — Belmont, Bradford, Dunbarton, Gilmanton, Henniker and Pembroke — withdrew from the coop by rejecting the contract negotiated with Wheelabrator Concord Company. Nineteen municipalities, including Laconia and Gilford, approved new deal, which run until 2022.
Earlier this month, the Laconia City Council, at the recommendation of City Manager Scott Myers, unanimously voted to accept the coop's proposed new contract with Wheelabrator, which operates the waste-to-energy facility at Penacook. Myers told the council that after weighing the tipping fees at alternative disposal sites and negotiating reduced haulage costs with Waste Management, he concluded the agreement best served the city's interests.
Gilford also chose to accept the coop contract. Although the town has no curbside collection, residents or contractors haul trash to the Laconia Transfer Station, from where its is taken to the Wheelabrator incinerator in Penacook.
In 2012, Laconia delivered 12,408 tons of trash, or 14-percent of the 86,386 tons of solid waste delivered by the 25 members of the coop while Gilford accounted for 4,837 tons, or 6-percent of the total.
The contract anticipated Concord's decision. In 2012 Concord represented 27,128 tons, or 31-percent, The contract specified that if Concord agreed to the contract, the coop members must deliver at least 75-percent of the current tonnage of 87,000 tons. Without Concord, the remaining members must deliver only 58.5-percent of current tonnage.
Director of Public Works Paul Moynihan, who represents Laconia at the coop, said that without Concord and the six towns the remaining tonnage represents 55.04-percent of the current total, shy of the amount specified by the contract. However, he said that Jim Presher, executive director of the coop, and members of the team that negotiated the contract indicated that Wheelabrator may be open to accepting the arrangement despite the shortfall in tonnage. The members of the coop authorized the chairman, Bill Harman of Weare, to enter a contract with Wheelabrator.