Environmental group raps New Hampshire’s solid waste plan

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

An environmental group that sued New Hampshire over delays in approving a solid waste plan is criticizing the state’s 10-year proposal to update garbage collection and recycling programs.

In a letter to the state Department of Environmental Services, the Conservation Law Foundation said a draft plan to manage solid waste, landfilling, recycling and composting over the next 10 years is “inadequate and uninspiring” and means New Hampshire will continue to be a “dumping ground” for garbage from Massachusetts and other surrounding states.

The solid waste plan, which was unveiled earlier this month, sets goals including reducing how much waste is generated, while stepping up efforts to divert more materials out of landfills through recycling and reuse programs. The state plans to meet those goals by increasing public education and incentive programs.

“Instead of demonstrating leadership and providing the guidance New Hampshire needs, DES has provided just a laundry list of recommendations, without any real steps to actually achieve them,” said Heidi Trimarco, CLF’s New Hampshire attorney.

In 2021, the environmental group filed a lawsuit against the state over delays in finalizing a solid waste plan, which hasn’t been updated since the previous plan expired in 2003.

The solid waste plan, which was unveiled earlier this month, sets goals including reducing how much waste is generated, while stepping up efforts to divert more materials out of landfills through recycling and reuse programs. The state plans to meet those goals by increasing public education and incentive programs.

Nearly half of the trash going into New Hampshire landfills comes from Massachusetts and other states, and lawmakers who approved the changes have been exploring ways to tighten the laws to restrict out-of-state trash amid warnings that the state will run out of capacity.

A 2019 report estimated that New Hampshire landfill capacity could have a shortfall of 120,000 tons in disposal capacity by 2025, which has state officials considering plans to expand landfill capacity and restrict waste from elsewhere.

“The Department of Environmental Services is completely abdicating their responsibility to address out-of-state waste,” Trimarco wrote. “DES should be committing to do something, anything about out-of-state waste.”

In June, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a proposal seeking to tighten environmental rules for new landfills, arguing that the plan would drive up the state’s solid waste costs.

The proposal, which was approved by the state Legislature with bipartisan support, called for setting a buffer zone for new landfill operations to help prevent toxic pollutants from leaching into nearby waterways.

Under current law, New Hampshire law sets a 200-foot buffer between proposed landfills and lakes, rivers or the coastline to prevent contamination. The legislation called for replacing that required buffer zone with a project-specific review that takes into account the flow of groundwater and other environmental factors.

But Sununu said the changes would prevent new regional landfills from being constructed, which he argues would drive up costs for local governments, waste haulers and consumers.

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4 thoughts on “Environmental group raps New Hampshire’s solid waste plan

  1. I just burn plastic bottles and old tires to heat my home all winter.The neighbors hate the black smoke.

  2. The Conservation Law Foundation never seems to have a solution to anything, just whining complains about everything someone else does. If you never have a solution, you are part of the problem.

  3. Ooops. I have correction. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) hounded Stow Mtn, and IBM, so badly BOTH wanted to get out of Vermont at any price. Enough insanity, I bet… they thought. I stated Stowe Mtn was sold for $50 million. I was wrong. Think how long Stowe Mtn was in existence…80 or 90 years? AIG had enough. Why stay in VT when an unelected, nor Gov’t agency, can destroy you…at will….with their “Lawfare Warfare”…the CLF. I am curious of the names who fund the CLF?

    Look what AIG sold Stowe Mtn for:

    “Vail Resorts closes $41 million deal to acquire Stowe ski area in Vermont.”

    ..IBM PAID Global Foundries $1 BILLION CASH to TAKE ALL VERMONT THEIR ASSETS….IBM wanted out at ANY cost…IBM did not “SELL” Essex plant…they “PAID” $1 BILLION TO GET AS FAR AWAY FROM VT AS POSSIBLE!

  4. Doesn’t surprise me. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)….They are neither an elected body nor Gov’t agency….but they are an Enviro octopus…and their “Lawfare-Warfare” tentacles reach everywhere. The CLF controls much of the VT enviro narrative & agenda…and there isn’t a single legislator, I bet, who isn’t lobbyist fed the CLF’s projects & agenda. Like? Shutting down IBM and VT’s Essex Circ highway…CLF Lawfare delayed and then cancelled, after almost 20 years, fully funded and State permitted….because CLF did not want it. Same with the 4 year delay for Stowe Mtn to build some condos….in a PARKING LOT at Little Spruce. But the CLF is so full of agenda, they fought it in court for years – trying to halt the already State issued permits to proceed…They claimed it was a BEAR HABITAT – in the always busy ski area PARKING LOT?? The CLF cost Stowe Mtn well into millions…and more MILLIONS in project delays, lawyers, engineers and costs. When the CLF lost their Stowe Mtn “Lawfare War” – in every VT court, they just walked away…no doubt feeling “smug” at how they “got” Stowe Mtn…My opinion is it was all because Stowe Mtn was owned by an evil, greedy multinational company, AIG. The CLF attacked both IBM and AIG Insurance. AIG later wanted out of VT. No surprise. They sold all of histopric & large STOWE MTN for about $50 million. And IBM? they HATED VT as well, and especially the CLF for the Circ highway disaster. IBM wanted out of VT so badly, they paid Global Foundries $1 b\illion to take their Essex plant. And Essex residents now complain of horrible traffic jams everywhere. The Circ woudl have alleviated much.

    I have said before, when the book length collapse & obituary on VT is perhaps written, the CLF deserves a large chapter.

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