Landfill

A wastewater plant in Massachusetts says it will stop processing runoff from a landfill in New Hampshire because it contains high levels of PFAS chemicals.

But officials in New Hampshire say this local controversy is just one example of a widespread problem.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

At an art gallery in Lebanon on Tuesday night, surrounded by photographs of compost, community members gathered to talk about trash.

Saran wrap, an empty box of broth and plastic firemen’s hats sat in neat display at the feet of Marc Morgan, Lebanon’s solid waste facility manager and Evelyn Swett, a photographer.

The two facilitated a conversation with a group of twelve people about waste, and finding ways to reduce it.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The solid waste company Casella says it's running out of space for Northern New England's trash. So it's taking the rare step of planning a brand-new landfill, in the small Coös County town of Dalton.

Lots of locals agree – they don't want the landfill. But they're divided on one potential tool to block it: zoning.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The North Country town of Dalton on Tuesday night approved temporary zoning rules that some residents hope will block a proposed landfill near a state park.

The town of about 1,000 residents was one of fewer than 20 in New Hampshire with no zoning ordinance.

NH State Parks

Residents in the North Country town of Dalton are organizing against a proposed new landfill near Forest Lake State Park.

The plan comes from Vermont-based Casella, which says it’s running out of room for trash in the North Country.

More than a year ago, the town of Bethlehem voted down an expansion for the near- capacity Casella landfill there.

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A plan to build a natural gas plant at a North Country landfill has gotten preliminary approval from the town of Bethlehem.

The $15 million-dollar project comes from several companies, including Liberty Utilities.

Sargent Corp

Liberty Utilities wants to use methane emissions from a North Country landfill as an energy source.

Liberty has proposed spending $15 million on a system to capture methane given off by decomposing trash at the Casella-owned landfill in Bethlehem.

The utility would convert the methane into “renewable” natural gas – so called because the trash that generates it can be replenished.

The project would generate as much gas annually as more than 6,000 homes can use in a year.

Sanborn Head

The main landfill serving the Seacoast has gotten state approval for a big expansion, over the objections of some neighbors and environmental groups.

The 1,200-acre Turnkey Landfill in Rochester takes trash from the Seacoast and out of state.

Waste Management told New Hampshire regulators last year it wanted to add about 60 acres to its landfill in order to keep it open through at least 2034.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Rising costs and limited markets are putting pressure on the recycling business in New Hampshire and the rest of the region.

At the Northeast Resource Recovery Association's conference in Manchester this week, China is high on the list of worries.

Sargent Corporation

Environmentalists are suing over alleged water pollution at a North Country landfill.

The federal lawsuit, filed Monday against landfill owner Casella, comes from the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center.

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Town meeting voters in Bethlehem have rejected a plan to expand a North Country landfill. 

 

The Casella-owned facility serves a large part of the region and is on track to fill up by 2021. 

 

Jim McCann was one of about 600 Bethlehem residents who voted against the expansion proposal, with about 500 residents voting for it. This is the second year in a row the matter has been up for a vote.  McCann says he wants to see his small town diversify its economy, not invest in the landfill.

 

Courtesy Woody Little / Toxics Action Center

Environmental groups say they plan to sue a Bethlehem landfill owner for allegedly dumping contaminants into the Ammonoosuc River.

The news comes just days before a Town Meeting vote on a plan to expand the site.

Vermont-based Casella Waste Services is dismissing the threat as a political stunt.

The announcement came from two Boston-based nonprofits – the Conservation Law Foundation and the Toxics Action Center, where Woody Little is an organizer.

Via USGS.gov

New Hampshire officials say they will address a landfill that is leaching potentially cancer-causing chemicals into groundwater sources.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Michael Wimsatt, director of the state Department of Environmental Services' Waste Management Division, believes the migration of contaminants from the Coakley Landfill is unacceptable. Wimsatt says removal of contaminants or containment on the site is necessary after receiving a letter from concerned state lawmakers.

EPA Superfund Records Collections

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to test water for possible PFC contamination near the Coakley landfill in southeast New Hampshire.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Gov. Maggie Hassan said it's her understanding that the EPA has committed to testing areas around the landfill in Rye and North Hampton and is finalizing a plan for such testing.

The state of New Hampshire has approved an expansion to a landfill in the town of Bethlehem.

The Caledonian Record reports the application by North Country Environmental Services was approved with 17 conditions last week by the state Department of Environmental Services.

In this expansion, 8 acres would be added to the current 38-acre landfill and its lifespan would be extended by five to 10 years.

Residents have a 30-day window to appeal the DES approval.