C&D Summits a Success - Part 2

March 29, 2023

The second of three summits aimed at Increasing Construction and Demolition Debris Diversion in Coos County, NH was held earlier in March 2023. The project is funded in part by a EPA Healthy Communities grant. The first summit was held in December 2022

The NRRA Member Services team, along with NRRA's Executive Director, spent two days in Coos County presenting at the summit, and then taking part in tours of a local landfill and transfer station.

The second summit was open to Coos County Transfer Station operators and staff, selectmen, town administrators, Public Works staff, and so on. The goal was to share answers to several questions presented in the initial presentation and continue the discussion around increasing C&D diversion. It lasted for three hours and had a total of 21 attendees, which included EPA representative, Christine Beling, and three NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) employees. With a total of 15 of 20 towns from Coos County represented at the summit, attendees represented 90.66% (28,349 people) of Coos County’s population.

Lively conversation about C&D opportunities and challenges.
Part of the summit focused on the upcoming Lancaster Transfer Station C&D Pilot Program. A reuse pile for wood, doors, windows, etc. will be created at the Lancaster transfer station, with staff directing both the public and contractors to separate their reusable wood. Items in the pile will be free for the taking, but will be weighed when removed to help determine the total weight of C&D diverted through the pilot program. 
Other topics covered included cover options for C&D so that snow and water do not increase the weight (and therefor, the hauling costs) of C&D debris. Member Services Manager, Brian Patnoe, also gave a detailed presentation on how transfer station operators and town managers can determine their "True Cost" of C&D, which includes BOTH the tipping fees AND the hauling fees. True Costs are part of Full Cost Accounting, which takes into account all costs including True Costs, labor, fuel, utilities, admin, and any other costs. By understanding the True Cost of C&D that has not been crushed (or only minimally densified), it is easier to see the benefits of densified and diverted C&D in driving down the True Cost either through decreased weight and/or fewer hauled loads. Finally, options for C&D were presented, including landfilling, reuse, grinding, and recycling.  
After the second summit, NRRA staff toured the Casella North Country Environmental Services landfill in Bethlehem, NH, and discussed their C&D use, which includes accepting C&D "fines" (also known as “recovered screen material”) to mix with soil for alternate daily cover. They also toured a nearby Renewable Natural Gas facility that is being built by a third party to capture the landfill gas that is currently being flared (burned), and separate it into methane and carbon dioxide for sale.
Finally, they toured the Androscoggin Valley Regional Refuse Disposal District (AVRRDD) transfer station in Berlin, NH, followed by their landfill. They had an impressive pile of mixed wood (clean wood, plus plywood, painted wood, etc.) from C&D at the transfer station, which is chipped and used as alternate daily cover at the landfill. A highlight of the visit was Gorham, NH delivering source separated, curbside recyclables to the AVRRDD transfer station in their unique truck designed for this purpose!

For the final C&D Summit, ALL NRRA member communities are invited to attend, as the third summit will be held during an NRRA Member Operations & Marketing (MOM) Meeting.