Recycling center clean up eyed

WILTON – The town’s recycling center needs attention in several areas. Comments from two groups were discussed at the meeting of the Select Board on Monday, Jan. 28.

The Economic Development Committee would like the area cleaned up and the Souhegan River Advisory Council raised concerns about the river banks behind the center. Several pictures of conditions at the area were shown.

Selectman Matt Fish said he agreed there was an environmental issue and “some kind of buffer” should be constructed along the river, which is very close to the back of the center and its open bins.

A group of residents have volunteered to do a clean up in the spring when the snow is gone and are looking for volunteers. A flag has also been offered.

“We need to get it back to how it looked when Maurice was here,” the Select Board said, agreeing that it had recently been neglected, at least cosmetically.

Maurice Guay (1926-2017) was the last manager of the center, serving from 1998 to 2011. When he retired the management of the center was placed under the Department of Public Works. The center lost Guay’s personal touch.

The center is built on the site of the former landfill (which was itself on the site of the old “town dump,” which is in an old granite quarry, long ago filled). When the landfill was closed, wells were dug by the state to monitor the ground water and so far no seepage has been found. The center was constructed in the late 1970s, the first such facility in the state, a totally local venture of six towns with no state funding, and gained national fame.

However, Selectman Kermit Williams said, “There is no monitoring of the surface stuff.”

The conditions will be looked into.

Town Administrator Paul Branscombe said bids will be sought for trash hauling since the current contract “doesn’t meet our needs.”

There was also a comment that “going to the center is a family thing,” and that sometimes the attendants’ language “isn’t fit for children.”

Branscombe said attendants are doing their best “and want to make the center work.”

In other business on Monday, the board finalized wording of the town warrant, including both King Brook Road and Old county Farm Bridges, and putting the town’s use of gravel out to bid.

The next meeting of the board is set for Monday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m.