To the editor: The hows, whys of punch card system at Derry Transfer Station

Some folks have expressed their frustration with the new punch card system at the Londonderry Transfer Station.

Punch cards are a solution to one piece of a much larger puzzle. Handling cash at the Transfer Station has been a safety and financial concern for years. I would like to assure everyone that Londonderry does not make money by operating the Transfer Station and the transfer station is only a piece of the solid waste enigma.

The tip fees paid to dispose of trash and the annual permits support only a part of the program. Although there is no charge to the customer to recycle, and free recycling is required by law, it costs to collect, transport and process the materials collected at the Transfer Station.

This is an attempt to help people see the bigger, more complex picture that makes up what the five towns — Landgrove, Londonderry, Peru, Weston and Windham — must do by law. The state has a number of Solid Waste Management Entities. The Londonderry Group, being one, is obliged to do many things to meet the requirements of Act 148, The Universal Recycling Law passed by Vermont in 2012. You can read what is required by all SWMEs here. I would suggest you start at page 17.

In addition, you can read the Londonderry Group’s Solid Waste Implementation plan, a five-year plan required by law, to meet what is set forth in the Materials Management Plan in the above link.

It is my hope that after these documents are read, there will be a greater understanding of why solid waste management is much more complicated than running a Transfer Station. I am happy to answer questions once you have delved into the above material but know that the bottom line is “It’s the law.”

Esther Fishman
Recycling Coordinator
The Londonderry Solid WasteGroup


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