GILFORD — Selectmen named the five members of Solid Waste Committee created in January to primarily examine the options available to the town and its trash and recycling needs.
The committee includes Kevin Leandro, Kevin Roy, William Knightly, retired Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan and Selectman Richard Grenier.
Gilford is a member of the Concord Regional Solid Waste Resource Recovery Cooperative. The town partners with the city of Laconia in the use and management of the Laconia Transfer Station, which serves as the collecting point for trash bound for the cooperative's incinerator.
Gilford operates its own recycling facility on Kimball Road where there is room for expansion.
The committee was created in the wake of selectmen trying nearly double the so-called tipping fees to town residents in 2013 who pushed back. Their fear was the private haulers would use the rate increase as an excuse to increase their rates and trash disposal would ultimately cost residents and taxpayers alike more in the long run.
In October of 2014 Selectmen raised the cost of tipping fees to Gilford from $30 to $45 per ton with no objections. The idea of a committee was discussed again and formed officially in January of 2015.
Solid waste or garbage collection costs can be broken down into three-parts: the cost of getting the garbage to the Laconia Transfer Station, the cost of getting the garbage from Laconia to the incinerator in Penacook, and the cost of burning it.
In Gilford, individual residents bear the full expense of getting the garbage to Laconia. The town doesn't have a transfer station or curbside pickup and residents either take their garbage to the Laconia station or pay a private trash hauler to take it.
The costs of transporting the garbage to Penacook and disposing of it was $66.80 per ton and is called a tipping fee. This fee is projected to increase to about $70 for the calender year 2015 said Dunn.
The town of Gilford pays the upfront costs to Laconia and a portion of the revenue collected from the sale of coupons to residents who haul their own or by haulers who pay by the ton to dump their loads is returned to the town.
The town disposes of about 5,000 tons of trash per year. For accounting purposes, the town budgets $350,000 annually as an expense and creates a revenue offset for the money returned to Gilford by Laconia once the fees are paid.
The committee is expected to finish its work by the end of the year and make a report to the selectman about their recommendations about garbage disposal, recycling, dumpsters at the town docks, licensing of trash haulers and other items.
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