Dump stickers haven’t changed in 12 years

AMHERST – The stories are cute: about the woman in possession of two dump stickers who said, “God bless my Dad. He lived in Manchester and used the Amherst dump twice a week.”

Then there was the man who was accidentally locked in the transfer station and given a courtesy ride home – to Milford.

Town officials, however, aren’t amused at the idea of out-of-towners using the Amherst Transfer Station. Not when it costs more than $600,000 to accept, manage and dispose of the town’s solid waste,” as DPW Director Bruce Berry told selectmen last week.

There are about 4,200 households in town and a count in March showed that 3,474 vehicles used the facility one week, Berry said. Considering the fact that some people pay for private pickup and some are in Florida in March, it’s reasonable to assume that not all of those 3,474 vehicles were from Amherst.

And that’s probably because permit stickers haven’t changed in 12 years. During that time many vehicles must have been sold with the old stickers attached.

“We are behind in our ability” to control who uses the facility, Berry said, especially since surrounding towns are tightening up their permits, with some charging fees. The Amherst station is on Route 101, used by 23,000 vehicles a day, so it’s convenient for many people.

“Restricting it to Amherst residents is definitely the prudent thing to do,” said Chairman Dwight Brew.

Berry ordered new decals in a new color and size, and they’ve already given out about 1,200 to residents at the transfer station and DPW office, said Town Administratior Jim O’Mara said Monday.

There are no more available at town hall.