Recycling Saves Hudson Tons

by Doug Robinson

It is quite simple.  If Hudson residents want to keep the preverbal trash lid on the rising costs of trash removal, then they will turn their trash into treasure by transferring it from their garbage cans into their recyclable bins.

While the Town of Hudson has held the line on its now approaching $2 million expenditure for trash removal, Hudson Road Agent Kevin Burns stated, “I have run out of rabbits to pull out of my hat.” 

“The residents of Hudson currently recycle about 11 percent of their trash,” Burns explained.  “If we can get that up to 25 percent that would offset the entire cost of the recycling program.”

The cost to remove the town’s garbage breaks down into two categories:  trash and recycled trash.  The financial figures involving the skyrocketing expense of solid waste disposal can be easily explained in Hudson’s lack of recycling.

Under the current contract, which ends June 30, it costs each Hudson taxpayer $117.78 per ton to dispose of trash while it costs the Hudson taxpayer $223.75 per ton to dispose of recycled products.  Simple math teaches us that recycle more, pay less in solid waste expense.

Currently the town’s solid waste service provides waste removal for 8,959 homes in Hudson.  The average residential unit is paying $182.30 per year to have their trash removed.  According to Burns, “I believe this to be a fair price.  This includes solid waste collection and disposal, including bulk items, curbside recycling, access to the landfill eight times a year and three curbside-leaf pickups.”

In 2005, Hudson expended $1.276 million for solid waste collection and disposal.  An additional $295,500 was spent in curbside recycling and disposal.  Forty-seven thousand, four hundred and forty dollars was expended for the eight clean-up days at the landfill.  Each day at the landfill costs Hudson taxpayers $5,930.  Curbside leaf pick up costs taxpayers $20,500.

Corcoran Environment Services was the low bidder during the recent negotiations for Hudson’s solid waste contract and has been proposed to take over Hudson’s solid waste contract, effective July 1.  “We were able to be the lowest bidder due to our lower overhead costs,” commented President Patrick Corcoran.  “We have fewer employees, fewer trucks, and no workers’ compensation issues.  We currently service the towns of Nashua, Manchester and Dover.  We will service the Town of Hudson with two trucks to pick up trash and one truck to pick up the recyclables.  Our automated tote collection system can perform 11,000 stops per day.”

At this time, Hudson has the “Cadillac of solid waste plans,” commented Burns.  “If you get it to the street, we would take it.  Costs continue to rise, and we need to bring solid waste bills under control.  We must increase our recycling.”

The proposed contract submitted to the Hudson Board of Selectmen is estimated to be three percent higher, or a total cost to residents of approximately $1.69 million.

Upon acceptance by the selectmen, the new contract, as proposed by Burns, will change the way Hudson does business with its trash.  “I believe this is an opportunity to start a new program with a new contractor to pursue recycling for not only environmental but economic reasons,” stated Burns.

According to Corcoran’s Website, Corcoran Environmental Services is a New England-based company dedicated to solving recycling challenges for businesses and municipalities.  Operating from Kennebunk, Maine, with additional offices in Manchester, the company currently services national accounts, universities, and communities domestically with innovative recycling and waste diversion programs.  Effective recycling is a key goal for most organizations today.

The success of the new solid waste contract rests with reduced trash output and increased recycling.  In past years, Hudson has paid a flat fee for solid waste removal, whether the trash is recyclables or regular trash.  The new contract will permit homeowners and renters to place up to two totes of trash for collection and an unlimited number of bins for recycling.  Homeowners will be allowed to use their current trash bins for the purpose of filling them with recyclable products.

According to Corcoran, “Fifty percent recyclable garbage is not unusual.  We recycle tin, cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass.  Most homes have 30-gallon trash barrels.  The trash barrels, totes, we have will collect twice the amount of the barrels now in use.  The key is education.  We must educate the homeowners on what can be recycled and how to do it.”

Residents will be provided one 64-gallon tote free of charge.  A second 64-gallon tote will be provided upon request by the homeowner, and there will only be a “one-time charge” of $75 for the use of that tote.  Homeowners may use as many recyclable totes as needed and may obtain their recycling bin from the Hudson Highway garage.  Residents may use their current trash cans for the purpose of collecting their recyclables.  “The whole goal is to save money.  For every ton of recyclables which comes out of the trash we get out of the green totes and into the recycle containers, the town will be saving $73 per ton disposal fee.  So, right now we have been able to level fund our solid waste costs.”

With this being a five-year contract and our price being linked to our per ton disposal cost of solid waste, I think a cart system and curbside recycling is in our long term best interest.  By using the automated cart system we will be limiting our total tonnage.”

Corcoran is dedicated to educating residents about curbside recycling.  “Hudson has never been motivated to recycle,” said Burns.  “Recycling will reduce our overall solid waste costs as it will reduce our overall trash tonnage.”

The new contract would include the town clean-up days as well as drop-off recycling at the town dump, on town clean-up days.  If residents were to request a pick up of their household goods at their house, or drop off household items at the landfill, then they would be required to pay a fee for that disposal.  According to Corcoran, the fee schedule will be:  $30 for those appliances which have Freon, $20 for appliances which do not have Freon, and $30 for other household items such as a sofa, or chair.  A phone call to Corcoran will be necessary to accommodate the pick up of the household goods.

Edward Inferrere, Director of Municipal Development, Corcoran Environmental Services, stated that the learning curve for the residents of Hudson will be “around three months.”  Residents will become “begrudgingly compliant” commented Inferrere.  “We will go to homes and teach the residents, personally, how to recycle if need be.” 

In efforts to better communicate the changes with Hudson’s solid waste program, Corcoran will also be placing instructional materials taped to the underneath portion of the lid to the tote when it is delivered to the homeowner, explaining the principles of the solid waste program.  Corcoran has stated that they will be placing information in the area newspapers as well as using Hudson Cable Television, on “a continual basis” to get the message out as to how to comply with the new solid waste program. 

During Burns’ presentation to the Hudson Board of Selectmen, Burns stated that this “will change the way we do business with our trash.  I believe this is an opportunity to start a new program with a new contractor to pursue recycling for not only environmental but economic reasons.”

From left, President Patrick Corcoran of Corcoran Environmental Services, Hudson Road Agent Kevin Burns and Edward Inferrere “stand behind” the new trash program.

Selectman Kathleen MacLean Puts her Money Where her Mouth is

by Doug Robinson

“I am so used to putting my foot into my mouth, I thought I would use my mouth for more useful purposes,” said Selectman Kathleen MacLean in speaking about the $8,000 donation she recently made to the Hudson Town Poor Account.

Selectman MacLean has publically stated that “while she respects the opinion town attorney (with the allocation of grant monies), she “feels that the Board of Selectmen does not have the right to give tax money to agencies, just because they feel they provide a valuable service.  I appreciate and value every agency on these lists,” commented MacLean.  “Don’t get me wrong, all of the agencies on this list are awesome, wonderful groups.  But if any one of us thinks they are that awesome, we can give them our own money.  That is how I feel; I do not think we have the right to give them other people’s money.”

MacLean continued by stating, “Every member of the Board of Selectmen is free to give their own money to any agency they wish, as are the citizens of Hudson.  For every agency on this list there are five to 10 more that provide the same service.  Where do we draw the line?” asked MacLean.

MacLean followed up those statements with an $8,000 personal donation to the Hudson Town Poor account. 

What makes this donation of special interest is that the monies donated to the Town Poor Account equal MacLean’s salary as a selectman for the three years of her term.

“As my term approaches an end, I would like to make a donation to the town of Hudson.  I have arrived at the total in the following manner:  Thirty-six months of take home pay at $240 is $8,640.  However, since I do have a reputation to uphold, I am rounding down to $8,000.  I would ask that this be considered a donation to the Town Poor Account and used as seen fit.”

According to Town Administrator, Steve Malizia, the budgeted amount for the Town Poor account is approximately $140,000.  The Town Poor account has been established to assist the Hudson residents with the distribution of funds for those residents who are in need of paying for heat, electricity, and other life needs. 

MacLean’s donation of $8,000 represents a 5.7 percent boost to the Town of Hudson’s Poor Account, which is currently budgeted for $140,000 for fiscal 2006-2007.  To date, $33,226 has been expensed from the Town Poor account to assist Hudson residents with their financial needs.

“I just wanted to give back,” said MacLean.  “And yes, I kind of thought of doing something like this when I became a selectman.  In fact, I never knew that selectmen were even paid for doing this job.  My take-home pay is around $240 every month for being a selectman.”

Selectman MacLean drew the line in the sand with her objections of town policy regarding the gifting of monies to various organizations.  During a recent selectmen’s meeting she stated, “(she) did not want to “rehash” her position as everyone knows it and voted against the motion of granting various organizations with the public’s tax dollars.

“My heart goes out for those who are down on their luck,” continued MacLean, “and this is my way of helping them out directly.  Kathy Wilson, Hudson welfare clerk, does a great job, and I know she can use this money to help a lot of people.”

MacLean explained that she receives much of her inspiration from her daughter, Julia, who is pursuing the life of a Nun.  “She has shown and taught me how we should live our lives.  Julia has given up all material things in her quest to become a Sister of Faith.  She does not own any material things.  She has given up her laptop, her cell phone, her car, and even her bank accounts in her pursuit of serving the Lord.  She recently has entered the sisterhood of The Religious Sisters of Mercy in Michigan.  

MacLean’s Christmas card builds upon the lessons taught by her daughter as it speaks of “Love for each other and to those we hold dear.”  This year, Hudson residents can be thankful for the generosity of Selectman Kathleen MacLean. 

The Extraordinary Life of Ida Scott

   Editor’s note: December 5,, 2006, marks the passing of a great lady and Hudson native, Ida Scott; also the beloved 84-year-old mother of Hudson~Litchfield News’ Managing Editor, Robin Rodgers.  Her story, more common to her generation, is unfamiliar to many today as it is one of enormous sacrifice and sorrow.  Ultimately, it is also a life story of tremendous love, great triumphs, family solidarity, and undying faith.  It is one we can all learn from today, especially in this advent season.

   Last, on behalf of the entire Hudson~Litchfield News family, our thoughts, prayers, and sincere sympathies are with you and yours, Robin and Gary Rodgers, and the entire Scott family

by Maureen Gillum

Ida Maria Onge Landry was born in her family’s Hudson home on B Street April 26 in 1922, the first of 10 children of Bernadette and Joseph Landry.  “Without a crib or real heat, she was kept in the bottom drawer of the kitchen pantry near the stove to keep her warm,” recounted her youngest daughter, Robin Rodgers.  She grew up as “Ida” in this strict French Canadian family and worked along side them in the masonry business.  Her father molded concrete blocks for foundations and decorative walls.

“As the oldest of 10, my mother grew up with huge responsibilities, and she frequently took care of her younger siblings,” shared Rodgers thoughtfully.  “Though she rarely complained about her predestined role as second mother and lack of her own childhood, this greatly shaped her life and gave her an extraordinary strength and resourcefulness that served her well later.”

As a young woman, she met and fell in love with Woodrow Scott from Vermont.  The two met while “Woody” was visiting his sister, Marian, Ida's Hudson neighbor.  They were married in 1943 and she was soon with child.  Like so many of that generation, he went off to fight in World War II, and Ida stayed home with her parents.  She industriously worked nights in Nashua’s textile mills, giving most of her pay to her parents.  Ida spent her days with her first of four daughters, Claudia, born in 1945.

When the war ended and Woody came home, they began building their own home on family land just up the hill from her parents on B Street in Hudson, as did several of her brothers and sisters.  When the cellar was completed, built from masonry blocks that Woodrow made himself, the tiny family lived there and worked tirelessly to complete their home.  Scott was politically active in Hudson and frequently disagreed with his equally engaged brother, Varian, who served on the volunteer fire department.

Two more daughters, Elaine and Susan, were born in 1948 and 1950, respecively.  Ida tended her Hudson home and Woodrow worked as a plumber.  About 20 years into their marriage a surprise daughter, Robin, was born; Ida, at 40 years old, nearly died in childbirth.  While Ida referred to her youngest as her ‘whoops baby’ early on, Robin later became Ida’s “real gift” as her caretaker late in life.

Just 16 months later, Woody suddenly lost his life to a fatal heart attack on Easter Sunday.  “He was out washing the car and came inside complaining he didn’t feel well,” reported Claudia, “by the time Mom called Dr. Wrobelski on Main Street, Dad had died.”  At 41, Ida tragically found herself alone with a baby, three growing daughters, and a mortgage to pay.  More heartache followed when Claudia had a cerebral hemorrhage and nearly died that same year.

“Mom was a remarkably strong woman that simply did what she had to do,” shared Claudia.  “The strength she had gained as a child took over as she protected and continued to raise her family.”

After her bittersweet beginnings, Ida persevered and held the family together as best she could.  She held a job at RDF, a Hudson electronics manufacturer for years, and followed that by working at Sanders Associates.  She completed her career at Centronics in Hudson.  “She assembled printers at Centronics until she was taken off of quality control inspection because her high standards rejected more printers than she allowed to go through,” smiled Claudia.  “Her supervisors thought, if she was that particular, she should build the printers instead of inspect them, so she went to the assembly line her last several years.”

A “real people person,” Ida was known for her hearty and distinctive laugh.  She made and kept many friends through her work and community through the years.  She was an active member of the Ladies Guild and the Hudson Seniors.  Through Sage, a St. Joe’s hospital prayer group, as well as her prayer groups at St. John the Evangelist and Presentation of Mary with Sister Doris, Ida truly celebrated and lived her faith in God, family and community. 

Born of necessity and fortunately enabled by her creativity and a sharp eye for color and design, Ida was also a textile artisan.  Her many talents included very complicated and intricate crocheting, most without a pattern.  An avid seamstress, she sewed nearly all her girls’ clothing.  Later, her daughters considered Ida a “savvy quilter” and would “spend hours with the church ladies stitching the yearly raffle quilt for St. John’s.”  Fueled by her deep love of family, she stitched quilts or crocheted afghans for each of her seven grandchildren.  Hundreds of mittens and hats and scarves warmed her children, grandchildren, and any small child in need. 

“Her generous heart always had room for one more at the supper table, any food drive, or collection for the poor,” said Susan proudly, “She would always be first in line to lend a helping hand to her fellow Christians.”

Another of Ida’s passions was travel.  An active lifetime member of St. John’s, she joined a group of Catholics and traveled to the Holy Land in the late 1970s.  The two-week trip to the Middle East was a cherished and relived memory for years and years.  She also enjoyed visits to Florida and cross country road trips to California.  The last big trip she went on was to Hawaii with her sisters, Jeannette and Lucille, and lifelong “sister” Claire.  That trip was during her birthday and the four “girls enjoyed long days of sun, fun and even a little champagne.

Later, Ida lived with Robin until the ravages of her Alzheimer’s disease prevented her from living at home with her family.  “We are eternally grateful for the most excellent care that both Greenbriar Terrace’s dedicated Alzheimer’s unit in Nashua and Hospice of Merrimack gave our mother,” shared Robin solemnly, “Everyone at Greenbriar, especially Mark and Rose, was so loving and caring to her for the long four and a half years.”  “Hospice was also wonderful -- most especially Trish, Kathy and Bonnie,” Claudia and Susan added collectively.  “Through such things as music therapy, massage and PT, they all made her as comfortable, happy and as much at peace as possible.”

Robin also wistfully recalled the warm smile and lucid but brief acknowledgment that Ida gave in response to seeing her great grandson, 11-month old Alexander, in a visit to her nursing home room just last week.  It also reminded her of her mother’s early days at Greenbriar where she was “labeled a rebel” for singing God Bless America out of the blue to lift the spirits of other patients.

In truth, Ida’s life was one of enormous pain and sorrow - only surpassed by the tremendous love, triumphs, and joys of her life.  Among her very saddest chapters was in burying her daughter, Elaine, 23 years ago.  Yet, in faith, she’s always walked on with a smile on her face and her warm laugh, which still echoes through the halls.

Thankfully, surrounded by the clinging hands, love and support of her family, Ida died and went to a better place in the early morning of December 5.  Her family today -- three surviving daughters and their husbands; seven grandchildren, and now eight great grandchildren -- welcome you into Ida’s life and wish you the great joys she has shared and given to us in her life.

God Hath Not Promised,

by Annie Flint, 1919 

God hath not promised skies always blue

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.

God hath not promised sun without rain

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day

Rest for the labor light for the way

Grace for the trials help from above

Unfailing sympathy undying Love.

“This is what He promised us…eternal life.”  1 John 2:25

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