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Step toward organic waste facility

October 9, 2011

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Selectmen are moving forward with a proposal to create a facility to process the organic waste of the town and surrounding area. The board voted , 4 to 1, Monday to authorize Town Manager Carl Valente to prepare and issue a request for proposals from private companies interested in operating the anaerobic digestion facility at the town-owned former Hartwell Avenue landfill. Selectwoman Deb Mauger said the facility would take the methane from green waste, such as yard clippings or vegetables discarded by a grocery store, and convert it into electricity. Mauger said the facility could process the green waste for a 15-mile radius around Lexington. The only other anaerobic digestion facility in Massachusetts is in Rutland, she said. Selectman George Burnell opposed issuing a request for proposals for the facility, saying he does not want 40 to 50 trucks hauling garbage through town every day, and he is concerned about the cost. Mauger said the town needs to send out a request for proposals in order to gather more information about the cost and whether the facility would create odor, water, and vermin problems. - Brock Parker