DPW Begins Drop-Off Collection of Glass Items

The Department of Public Works is expanding its recycling program by offering Bedford residents the opportunity to drop off glass at the Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road beginning Saturday, April 10.

Glass is being collected in a container across from the compost piles. Accepted glass items are jars, bottles, beverage glasses, and window panes. Lids and caps should be removed; windows should be removed from metal and wood frames.

Economic Development Bill ~ Its Effect on Zoning Density for MBTA Communities, and a Change to Simple Majority Zoning Votes

Recently-signed state legislation designed to expand housing opportunities presents some challenges for Bedford.

The law, which affects MBTA communities, requires a zoning district of “reasonable size” in which at least 15 housing units can be situated on an acre of land, located no more than a half-mile from a commuter rail or bus station.

The provision was part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s economic development bill, which he signed in January.

Water Main Flushing Program

The Bedford Water Division will be flushing hydrants to ensure clean, clear water throughout the distribution system.  The work will be done Monday through Thursday afternoons between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM from April 20th to approximately May 13th.  The program starts at the connections on the Lexington town line and moves westerly across Bedford.  Signs will be set out the day before flushing in each specific area of town.   

Vaccination Rates, Covid Testing, & Other Topics Discussed at Monday’s Board of Health Meeting

The director of the town’s Health and Human Services Department told the Board of Health Monday that 18 percent of Bedford residents have been fully vaccinated to protect from the Covid-19 virus.

Heidi Porter said the percentage is consistent with state and national trends. On Tuesday, Porter said the most recent report by the state Department of Public Health, as of April 1, noted that 2,831 out of 14,995 residents have been fully vaccinated – that’s 18.9 percent. She added that not all residents are eligible yet.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety ~ Myths & Facts

Many people are becoming eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts. It is critical for all residents to have accurate vaccine information to be able to make an informed decision regarding their health.

Health Department Warns of Tick Menace

More than a year into a global pandemic, the town Health Department wants to make sure residents remember the little things.

Like ticks.

“Tick season is upon us and with the nice weather you may be spending more time in potential tick environments,” the department said in a statement this week. “Spending more time at home is leading residents in search of fresh spring air and outdoor activities.”

Covid Rate Up but Fewer Residents Taking Advantage of Free Testing

Bedford is no exception to recent trends showing an increased incidence in Covid-19.

“It seems to have coincided with the increase in vaccines,” observed Heidi Porter, the town’s Director of Health and Human Services. “With reopening, we are increasingly concerned about folks waiting for vaccinations and loosening precautions. We are still promoting that messaging of precautions.”

Garage Overflowing with Boxes? Compost Center Expands Hours of Operation and Cardboard Recycling

Residents can soon expect an increase in the compost center’s hours of operation, in an effort to divert materials from the town’s waste stream and make recycling more accessible, according to David Manugian, Department of Public Works director.

Typically, the compost center on Carlisle Road is closed during the first quarter of the year. Recycling Coordinator Ed McGrath said that starting in April, the compost center will be open every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

By expanding opportunities for drop-off at the center, the DPW hopes to mitigate the recent influx of recyclable materials in roadside carts, such as cardboard and paper, due to more people shopping online and receiving packages during the pandemic.

“We wanted to give people an overflow option,” Manugian said. “If the cardboard’s collecting, they can have an option so they don’t have to stuff it all in their recycling cart.”

COVID-19 Homebound Vaccination Opportunity

The Town of Bedford Health Department is pleased to announce it is partnering with the Massachusetts State In-Home Vaccination Program to offer at-home COVID-19 vaccination for Bedford residents who are medically homebound and would otherwise not be able to access vaccination. Any Bedford resident who is homebound and within the current phase of eligibility for vaccination can register to be considered for an in-home vaccination.

Bedford’s Community Emergency Response Team ~ CERT ~ Urges Residents to ‘Be Ready!’

Are you ready for the next storm, power outage, road closure, or another event?  The degree to which you are prepared can make the difference between an inconvenience and a disaster.  The Bedford CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) has coordinated with Town Public Safety officials in preparing some tips for you to ensure YOU ARE READY! 

Health Department Plans to Hire an Additional Youth Social Worker

The town Department of Health and Human Services plans to hire a social worker next month whose main role will involve young people transitioning out of the pandemic.

Director Heidi Porter told the Board of Health that feedback from school leaders and community members indicated a demand for a professional who could interact with the schools, benefiting students “as a person in their lives to talk to.”

Reflections in the Time of Pandemic: Sarah Stanton and the Select Board

“I didn’t think we would still be here a year later, yet here we are,” Town Manager Sarah Stanton said, echoing a sentiment that many can understand a year following the unofficial start of Covid-19 within the Bedford community.

In her March 8 presentation to the Select Board, Stanton offered her gratitude to individuals and organizations that she credits with helping the town through the Covid-19 pandemic.