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Concord signs new agreement for trash disposal

Concord has signed a new 10-year contract for trash disposal, a move that will save the city money.

Casella Waste Systems will collect and dispose of the city’s trash and recycling. Yesterday’s announcement of the new contract came two months after Concord declined to enter the regional trash cooperative’s latest contract with Wheelabrator Technologies. Concord has been sending trash to Wheelabrator’s incinerator in Penacook as part of the co-op since 1985.

Residents will not notice changes to their trash and single-stream recycling collection under the new contract, as Casella has already been collecting the city’s trash and delivering it to Wheelabrator. (The city previously had a contract with Bestway Disposal Services, which Casella purchased last year.)

Under the new contract, Casella will deliver waste to its own transfer station in Allenstown, said Concord Purchasing Manager Doug Ross.

And it will cost the city less money. In the first year of the new contract, Concord will pay Casella $57 for each ton of residential trash and $61 for each ton of commercial trash. The trash co-op’s new agreement with Wheelabrator has a tipping fee of $64 per ton for all trash.

Casella was one of four companies to submit proposals for Concord’s trash disposal, according to a spreadsheet Ross provided to the Monitor. The document shows the other companies – Pinard Waste Systems, Waste Management and Charles George Companies – proposed higher tipping fees than Casella.

Concord had previously been the largest member of the Concord Regional Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Cooperative. Since its founding in 1985, the co-op has contracted with Wheelabrator to dispose of its trash. Member cities and towns transported their waste to the company’s Penacook incinerator, after which ash was taken to a landfill in Franklin.

In June, the 24 member communities voted on a new contract with Wheelabrator. Concord and six other towns declined to enter that agreement and must begin sending their trash elsewhere by Jan. 1.

City Manager Tom Aspell said Concord and other co-op members still have a stake in caring for the Franklin ash landfill, where they sent trash for decades.

“The members of the co-op will always have a responsibility related to the Franklin ash landfill,” Aspell said.

The co-op’s latest contract with Wheelabrator allows the company to stop sending ash to the landfill after 2014, or once it runs out of space.

Aspell said the city and the trash co-op are still working on the details and structure of what Concord’s responsibility or membership will mean.

“I recognize the fact that there will need to be some entity that continues to exist,” he said.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or
lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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