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Signs at the entrance to the old Auburn landfill clearly prohibit oil drop off, with the exception of three hours a month, and also direct residents to the regional transfer station on Grey Point Avenue. (RYAN O’CONNOR/Union Leader Correspondent)

Auburn incurs costs to dispose of waste oil

AUBURN — When Auburn agreed to house a regional transfer station 15 years ago, part of the deal included a once-a-month waste-oil disposal day at the town’s old landfill.

Town Administrator Bill Herman said some residents have grown lax with the arrangement over the last decade, and that’s become a problem for the town.

“The (old landfill) site is not necessarily on the way to anything, so some folks have just been leaving jars and containers of waste oils, antifreeze, paints and other hazardous materials of that nature at times other than the one Saturday a month they’re allowed to do so,” Herman said.

The result is a large collection of used oil that waste management officials wouldn’t accept because it wasn’t coming directly from residents.

“It didn’t happen in a short period of time,” said Herman. “It took years for this to build up.”

Working with the state Department of Environmental Services, the town retained ENPRO to remove the waste oil on July 1. Herman said he hasn’t received the final invoice, but said the estimated cost was $3,000 to $4,500, which he said will come from the town’s annual $25,000 solid waste stipend in the operating budget.

To prevent similar issues in the future, the town is entering an agreement with Manchester Waterworks, the Department of Waste Management and the state Department of Environmental Services to move the Auburn-only oil collection site to the regional transfer station.

Said Herman: “All parties are pretty much in agreement, and this will also become far more convenient for Auburn residents who are going to the transfer station anyway and now can dispose of their waste oil there, too.”

Herman said it’ll be a couple months before the arrangement becomes official because there are procedural considerations, such as a site plan modification with the Planning Board, that must be addressed first.

“We’re optimistic that by the fall, the whole operation will be located at the waste management facility,” he said.

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