Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Never Assume...

OK, call me a dope.

"Wally, you're a dope."


Now, for some reason I have always thought that the recycling Center charged for the disposal of trash on a per-bag basis. Why not? Seems that it is done almost everywhere in the country, and trash removal is not a a cheap enterprise. Why would a Town give it away fro free, but charge a fee to post a yard sale sign?

So, I was amazed to read in the paper yesterday that Sturbridge does not charge a per-bag fee at the Recycling Center, they only charge for the disposal of other things like PC's, TV's, demolition waste and the like.

What the heck is the Town thinking? Seems they are behind in the amount of money it will cost to cap the landfill without a way of getting more funds. This is another no-brainer.

We have residential trash pick-up here at the house. We pay on a quarterly basis. It's only right. The trash has to go somewhere, and those that take it there have got to be paid, as well as paying the fee's that are required at the landfills.

I've used the Recycling Center several times for the disposal of large objects that the could not be removed at the curb, and for other stuff. I've always paid a fee, and thought nothing about it. The fee's were always fair, and I assumed everyone paid to drop off anything there.

If those that use the Recycling Center were charged $1.00 per bag we could make the $200,000.00 shortfall in a couple of years. After that, it could be used for site improvements, maintenance, or other projects so designated by the Town.

I don't believe that charging a fee per-bag will increase illegal dumping either. Those that currently do are of a type that saving $10.00 to drop off an old TV isn't the reason they dump illegally, they are just too lazy to drive to the Recycling Center, or wait until it is opens. You can't fix laziness. You can install a few cameras around town at the sites that are often used for illegal dumping. This can make a difference, and if the fines were jacked up, that money could be very helpful.

So, anyway, of course we should charge to use the Recycling Center. Its only common sense.

Since I am out of the loop regarding this whole capping of the old landfill project, I wonder if the methane below the surface will be tapped? Most capped landfill sites have a multitude of PVC pipes sticking out of the ground to allow the methane produced from the the deteriorating trash to escape into the atmosphere.

Al Gore develops a twitch when he drives by these sites.

Best thing to do is to capture the methane, and sell it, or use it to heat, or to power some of our town buildings. Cha-ching! More cash for the town.

If we own something that needs to be disposed of properly, we need to pay, and not expect someone else to pick up our tab.

The Town also needs to charge a fee for a Recycling Center sticker, maybe $10.00 per year, along with a pay-as-you-dump fee.

I'd be interested in knowing more about the Landfill Capping Project, so if anyone has more information, please send me a note at, or leave a comment.

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