Londonderry officials vow to search for solution to illegal dumping
LONDONDERRY — While the Londonderry public works department expects to save thousands of dollars next year thanks to a newly negotiated solid waste contract, that won’t likely solve the town’s ongoing illegal dumping problem, town officials said this week.
During Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Public Works Director Janusz Czyzowski shared the latest updates on the coming year’s trash removal contract.
Last month, when Czyzowski presented his annual budget proposal to the council, the public works director said he would continue negotiations with Allied Waste Management, the company that provides Londonderry’s trash removal services.
“After much negotiation with our vendor, the price has been lowered, ” Czyzowski told the council on Monday.
Under the current five-year-contract, which ends this summer, the town pays $614,000 annually for trash collection.
Under the revised contract, the town will pay $560,000 for trash removal next year, which is $23,000 less than the originally proposed contract.
Savings are further outlined in 2016, with the revised contract coming in at $580,000, which is $18,000 less than the contract that was originally proposed.
With additional recycling collections outlined in the overall plan, more people are expected to recycle rather than toss things in the trash next year, and Czyzowski said he expects to see more than $102,000 in combined savings next year under the new plan.
“It’s wonderful news for the town,” he said.
Council Vice Chairman Tom Dolan suggested Town Manager Kevin Smith and Finance Manager Susan Hickey look into the matter further, noting that the funds saved could be used in other areas of need, such as the town’s road repair program, which is underfunded.
At the same time, town officials noted that removal of illegally disposed items cost Londonderry over $100,000 last year.
“I don’t know what the solution is, but this is an issue that needs to be kept alive,” Dolan said.
“It’s a tremendous cost to the town,” he said. “And there’s really no easy solution.”
The Londonderry Drop-off Center, located off West Road, is open Saturdays from early April through late November. Residents may dispose of their larger unwanted household items — which aren’t permitted on the curbside during weekly trash pickup — at that site for a fee. The town charges residents $14 per item for disposal of large furniture pieces such as sofas and full-sized mattresses, and $7 each for smaller items like chairs or twin-sized mattresses.
The center also accepts items like scrap metal, propane tanks, electronics and old carpet, all on a pay-per-deposit basis. Residents wishing to remove larger items off-season are referred to a list of alternative disposal locations via the town’s website.
However, it’s apparent that not all citizens are unloading their junk in legal manner, as Dolan noted.
In New Hampshire, those charged with littering can face fines of up to $2,000, along with a year in prison. According to Chapter XVI of the town’s municipal code, litter is defined as “all rubbish, refuse, garbage, yard waste, trash, debris, dead animals or other discarded materials of every kind and description.”
Those caught littering in Londonderry may also be subject to town fines, ranging from $100 for first offense, to $1,000 for fourth offense.
But that hasn’t stopped people from dumping their old couches and televisions along Londonderry’s many back roads.
Council Chairman John Farrell suggested the town revisit its removal policy for larger items.
“Maybe there’s a break-even point for us,” he said, suggesting the town arrange for large item pick-up, dividing the town into four different regions.
Councilors vowed to discuss the issue further over the coming months, with work on the coming year’s budget to firstname.lastname@example.org