By Ron Green
Growing climate and environmental justice issues highlighted Bedford’s Energy Task Force meeting on February 1. The Task Force reviewed various local efforts to increase Bedford’s response to growing climate change.
Electronics manufacturers will be required to pay for recycling their products upon the passing of a recently filed bill in the Massachusetts House. Bill HD2817 would establish the process for collecting the cost of recycling electronics waste such as unwanted computers, cell phones, and TVs. Nicholas Hutchinson, a legislative aide for the House Committee on Energy, called the bill the first concerted effort to establish a chain of responsibility by producers. Recycling could include refurbishing or materials recovery. One of the major intentions of the bill is to reduce the amount of toxic materials, such as mercury and nickel, in the environment.
To put a point on the effort, members of Transition Town Bedford, a local group committed to sustainability, delivered a box filled with laptop computers to the Task Force for refurbishing and distribution to veterans through the VA hospital. Transition Town is also working on a plan for collection and recycling of other major appliances.
Dangerous and climate-threatening leakage of gas pipes, a concern of many Bedford residents, has been a central focus of the Bedford chapter of Mothers Out Front. Member Chris Rabinowitz reported that the group continues the program of raising public awareness of the problem. Volunteers have successfully placed highly visible lawn signs at many of the homes where gas leaks have been reported.
Bedford resident Dan Bostwick reported a “Net Zero” initiative is getting started. Following models in Lexington and Concord, the group is gathering information from neighboring towns on steps being taken to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions.