• Sally Needell

How Can We Reduce Durham’s Trash Load?


The Town of Durham, like many communities in New Hampshire, is in the midst of seeing significant increases in the costs of dealing with solid waste and recycling. The primary driving forces are the loss of destinations for much of our recycling and the cost of adding our trash to the Turnkey Landfill in Rochester.


Back in 1981 the N.H. Legislature enacted the N.H. Solid Waste Management Act (RSA 149-M), for the regulation of solid waste and promotion of environmentally responsible ways to manage our waste. These included best practices, and the state’s goal was to reduce solid waste by 40%.


The least preferred option for managing solid waste in the state is landfilling, with preference given to more sustainable options, such as source reduction, recycling and reuse, and composting. New Hampshire has never reached its 40% goal even though 80% of our solid waste is recyclable.


Here in Durham, residents have multiple options for keeping their trash from the landfill! Durham residents throw away an average of 884 pounds of waste each year.


Things we can do:

Recycle all recyclables, and avoid contamination of your recycling items (no plastic bags, no food waste, etc.).

Do not commingle your clean corrugated cardboard with mixed paper.

Compost organic materials. 40% of our trash is organic! You can in your yard, with the help of Mr Fox (https://mrfoxcomposting.com/ ) or for FREE at the Town’s Transfer Station.

Donate to Durham’s Echo Thrift Shop (http://ccdurham.org/echo-community-thrift-shop/), the Salvation Army (Transfer Station or https://satruck.org/), GoodWill Industries, Savers, etc.)

Take reusable furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, windows, appliances etc. to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Newington (https://nhrestore.org/ ) or arrange for a pick-up.

Take books to the library the last week of each month. ( http://www.durhampubliclibrary.org/ )

Bring CLEAN, WORKING, SAFE, UNBROKEN items to Durham’s Swap Shop located that the Durham Transfer Station.

( https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/publicworks/durham-swap-shop ).



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