Touring C&D Management at Coös County Facilities

September 19, 2023

Over the past year, NRRA has been working on an EPA Healthy Communities grant focused on increasing construction and demolition (C&D) diversion in Coös County, NH. 

During that time, we have held 3 C&D Summit Roundtables in Lancaster, NH; provided technical assistance to 3 case study communities; helped to set up a successful C&D diversion pilot program in Lancaster, NH; and have visited 14 Coös County facilities with an eye to C&D management. 

By visiting individual transfer stations, NRRA is able to pull together different C&D challenges and opportunities that are unique to Coös County.

There are no local C&D recycling facilities in Coös County. The closest C&D recycling facilities are in southern New Hampshire and western Vermont, which is prohibitively far from Coös County. Because of this, C&D debris is primarily landfilled, with some facilities separating wood to be chipped and used as alternative daily cover.

(Alternative daily cover is material other than soil placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control disease vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging.)

Towns in Coös County understand the importance of densifying C&D, often using the facility or town-owned backhoe to crush open-top C&D containers, so that they can fit in even more material. In addition, NRRA is continuing to look into better options to help facilities better manager their asphalt, brick, and concrete (ABC) debris, which is often piled at individual transfer stations.

Finally, many towns have some section where residents can take and reuse C&D (like doors and windows), bulky waste (like furniture or exercise equipment), and other waste (like lamps, children's items, books, and so on.) This can be as structured as a swap shop, though more often than not, it's a corner or wall that is easily monitored by facility staff.

While transfer stations in Coös County are often run by a very limited labor force, it was clear at every transfer station we visited that operators took pride in their work with the public while keeping their transfer station running well.

Here are six transfer stations NRRA visited in September 2023:

Carroll, NH

The town of Carroll, NH collects C&D in an open top container, with a separate section for bulky waste (like furniture). They are also one of the few towns that have a glass crusher on site! Crushed glass is then used in town road projects. 


(Left) NRRA executive director, Reagan Bissonnette, along with Andrew and Jay from the Carroll Transfer Station. (Right) Residents are asked to separate scrap metal from C&D, if possible. Scrap metal is sold for revenue.

(Right) Jay showing off the insides of the Carroll glass crusher. Andrew explained other modifications they made to help stop the machine from getting jammed up with materials. 

Whitefield, NH

The town of Whitefield, NH is rebuilding a roof over their C&D open top container to help protect it from rain, snow, and ice. This means that the town is only paying for the transportation weight of C&D, and not paying for water, which can be heavy. 

(Left) Whitefield Transfer Station Manager, Jimmy, along with NRRA's Reagan in front of the C&D container and in-process roof. (Right) The burn pile is for brush only.

Dalton, NH

The town of Dalton combines C&D and bulky waste (you can spot a couch sticking up in the photo below). The open top is crushed at least once, so that additional material can fit. Like many other transfer stations, mattresses are laid on the top of the container, since they do not crush or compact well. During our visit, several folding chairs, which had been set aside next to the container, were picked up by a delighted resident happy to reuse them!  


(Left) Dalton Transfer Station Manager, Kyle, along with Reagan by their fantastic recycling sign. (Right) The C&D open top container has been recently crushed, with mattresses added to the side that can no longer be further compacted.

Shelburne, NH

The town of Shelburne has a small facility, with a 20-foot open top container designated for C&D and bulky waste (not pictured). 


Zach, the Director of Public Works, and Ken, the town's Road Agent, also help run the Shelburne Transfer Station.

Jefferson, NH

The town of Jefferson only allows three vehicles at a time, so that operators can assist residents and ensure materials are disposed of properly. The C&D and scrap metal open top containers are the last stop for residents prior to leaving the facility.

(Left) Reagan and Member Services Manager, Brian Patnoe, at the Jefferson Transfer Station. (Right) The C&D and scrap metal open top containers. 

Gorham, NH

Like many facilities we visited, the transfer station for the town of Gorham finds that doors and windows are some of the most popular C&D items to be reused, often being brought in by one resident and subsequently taken away by another resident all in the same day! 

(Left) Town of Gorham's Public Works Director, John, and Recycling Coordinator, Carole. (Right) A pile of doors and a window waiting to be reused.


Thank you to the towns for allowing us to tour your facility; learn about your C&D management, challenges, and opportunities; and to answer questions you have and problem-solve solutions with you. Providing on-site technical assistance is one of the most impactful benefits of being an NRRA Municipal Member! 

(Not yet a member?! Check out our Membership and Benefits.)



This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA.  

Northeast Resource Recovery Association complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity).