Selectman Bill Marcussen on Tuesday suggested that Tuftonboro could implement an ordinance forcing residents to recycle. Such an ordinance would have to be enforced with fines, and would place the transfer station employees in the unsavory position of policing what’s inside trash bags brought in by residents. Transfer station supervisor Clay Gallagher has previously stated he would prefer not to be in the position of rummaging through people’s trash.
Marcussen’s comment was made in the context of discussing a proposal put forward by Gallagher to divide the revenue generated by recycling among all town employees. According to Gallagher, this would create an incentive for town employees to promote recycling. During Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting, Gallagher indicated that he had seen a town employee throwing recyclables into the trash compacter. There are approximately 50 town employees who work full-time, part-time, and per diem. However, not all town employees are residents of Tuftonboro. There are approximately 2,500 residents in town.
Marcussen seemed to be setting up a choice between giving raises to town employees and enforcing mandatory recycling.
Wakefield, NH, has a mandatory recycling ordinance, but as reported by the Granite State News in both 2014 and 2015 that town’s recycling rate was just 30%. Wakefield also had to repeal a controversial clear-bag requirement in 2015.