The recent meeting of the Solid Waste and Environment Committee (SWEC) not only focused on the environment, but more so on membership.
On May 8, the Londonderry SWEC met for its monthly meeting, hoping to not only continue its efforts of keeping the town ecologically minded, but also to drum up new members for the committee.
Member Jocelyn Muller could not be present due to illness, and Bob Kerry was forced to leave early due to a family emergency. However, before Kerry left, he brought up the town’s new Sharps kiosk (a cart where residents can toss out their used sharp medical instruments, such as needles). The original kiosk was on the first floor of Town Hall, but was removed temporarily for a number of other installations, including a recycling display and a vending machine, before the town eventually settled on a POW monument. The new Sharps kiosk should be placed on the second floor by July.
After Kerry left the meeting, the remaining members delved into other topics. For one, Gary Stewart noted that there seemed to be a “resurgence of energy” in the Beautify Londonderry program, a subcommittee to SWEC that focuses on cleaning up local residences of trash and brush. Stewart believes the new energy can be attributed to new leadership in the program, new T-shirts and a new banner. SWEC plans on inviting Mike Byerly, who works with Beautify Londonderry, to their next meeting for an update on how the program is running.
Stewart then went on to discuss one of the bigger projects SWEC is currently doing. The committee is concerned with small businesses and how they throw away florescent light bulbs. These bulbs contain mercury and although most large businesses handle them in an environmentally safe manner, far less small businesses do this, sometimes causing safety hazards.
In order to raise awareness of this matter, SWEC is currently in the process of going door to door along 102 and Route 28 to roughly three hundred businesses to inform them of a service that will have their florescent bulbs to a drop-off center, albeit for a nominal fee.
Finally, the other large topic for the meeting was reached: membership. On top of only three members of SWEC being present for this month’s meeting, the committee also has three vacant spots that they’ve yet to fill.
In response to this, Chairman Paul Margolin has produced two solutions. First, the committee produced a flyer which they distribute across Londonderry that describes what the committee does and when they meet at Town Hall. The flyer notes that their mission statement is “to enhance and reduce risks to Londonderry’s environment with helpful solid waste services to residents.”
The second solution will involve sending SWEC representatives to the town’s oil drop-off site to hand out more of the flyers and speak to the public.
After covering what other goals that they hope to work on in the future, the meeting was adjourned.
SWEC meets up once a month on Mondays for roughly an hour and a half. For more information on the committee, please visit londonderrynh.org and click the “Solid Waste and Environment Committee” link in the “Boards & Commissions” tab.