DPW Fall Recycling Event

The Department of Public Works will host its Fall Recycling Event on Saturday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to noon at 314 Great Road. The event is open to all Bedford residents. Electronic waste, scrap metal, and rigid plastics will be collected at this event. There will also be on-site shredding with a limit of 5 file boxes per car per trip. Residents can also bring fluorescent lamps, rechargeable batteries (e.g. NiCd, NiMH, Lithium, etc.) and sealed lead acid batteries.

Town Hall Road Work: August 18, 19, 22, and 23 from 7 am to 5 pm

Submitted by the Town of Bedford

Road work around Town Hall is scheduled for Thursday and Friday (August 18/19) as well as Monday and Tuesday (August 22/23), between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. If you have business at Town Hall or are dropping off/picking up at Kids’ Club, please enter from Elm Street to School Way and park either behind Town Center or along Mudge Way on the east side of Town Hall (closest to the Fire Station). town center construction updateClick here to view/print a scalable map of the work area.  

Bedford DPW Installs the First Round of (Almost) Free Trees

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Bedford’s Arbor Resources Committee (BARC) distributed flyers at Town Meeting in March, announcing the (Almost) Free tree project. Arranged in collaboration with the Department of Public Works, the initiative solicited homeowners’ help in maintaining new street trees for the town. According to BARC’s handout, the installations are part of “a pilot public-private partnership we’re calling the (Almost) Free Street Tree Project.”
“The Town will buy a tree and plant it in that part of a resident’s front yard, close to the street, that belongs to the Town.   They’ll leave you an alligator watering bag. You and your family get the pleasure and other benefits of the tree for the price of committing to watering it for its first three years.  While the pilot project will only plant 5 trees this spring, we plan to expand the program in the future and are collecting names of interested residents for both this season and next.” The response to the program was understandably positive, and planting began early on Thursday [July 14].

Catch Basins Treated to Limit the Culex (Q-Lex) Mosquito that Carries West Nile Virus

Submitted by the Bedford Department of Public Works

The Bedford Department of Public Works has started its annual program to treat catch basins for West Nile Virus which is is a disease carried by the Culex (Q-lex) mosquito. This mosquito mostly breeds in storm drains, but can also survive in any open container holding even a half inch of water. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is important to target the larvae stage of the mosquito, since once the adult has hatched, it can transmit the virus to humans and animals. Small packets that contain a selective insecticide for the Culex larvae will be dropped by licensed DPW employees into catch basins on public lands and target neighborhoods.  These neighborhoods include senior populations, horse barns, and densely populated or other public areas.  The active chemical, Bacillus sphaericus, prevents the larvae from developing into an adult mosquito.   The chemical is not harmful to humans, fish, pets, plants or birds. For additional information, please contact either the Bedford DPW or the Bedford Board of Health.  The Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control District is overseeing this annual project and can be reached at (781) 899-5730.

Sanders and Kaplan Earn 2016 Environmental Scholarships

Submittted by the Bedford DPW and Republic Services

Bedford High School seniors Trenton Sanders and Avery Kaplan were named recipients of the 2016 Environmental Scholarship. The scholarship is sponsored by the Department of Public Works and Republic Services and awarded to a Bedford High senior who takes a leading role in increasing the school’s recycling efforts and improving the efficiency of the program. “Trenton and Avery each took a leadership role to maintain the success of the recycling program at Bedford High and pursued areas where it could be expanded,” said Ed McGrath, the town’ Recycling Coordinator.  “Because of their dedication, Trenton and Avery are being awarded $1,400 each.”

Sanders, who plans to attend the University of South Florida, served as the recycling coordinator at Bedford High this year.  Kaplan was a four-year member of the Environmental Club and was a member of the Envirothon team (an environmental competition) designing a campaign around invasive species. She will attend Wesleyan University in the fall.

Roadway Sewer Manhole Repairs Scheduled for June and July

Submitted by DPW Director David Manugian

Over the next six to eight weeks residents may see a contracted utility truck working over select manholes in the town.  Click here to view or print a scalable map of the work areas. Heitkamp, Inc. will be doing lining and other repairs to approximately 160 sewer manholes in order to stop water from getting into the sewer system.  These manholes are spread throughout town on multiple roads; the attached map shows the roadway locations. An ongoing issue with sewer systems is minimizing water inflow and infiltration (I&I) into the system.  Inflow typically comes from surface water sources such as flooding and heavy rains leaking in through manhole covers.  Infiltration typically comes from groundwater leaking in through cracks in manhole structures, pipes, or the connections between them.  The water that gets in both reduces the capacity of the pipes and must be treated along with the rest of the flow,thus increasing treatment costs. The Town, working with its engineering consultant Weston and Sampson and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, has identified approximately 219,000 gallons per day of inflow and infiltration that will be removed by performing the repairs in this project.  The resultant I&I treatment cost would have otherwise been borne by the ratepayers.  Based on current sewer rates this I&I would have cost ratepayers approximately $360,000 a year.  By comparison the total project cost is approximately $200,000, with funding provided through an MWRA grant/ loan program. Much like other infrastructure it should be noted that these repairs are part of ongoing maintenance as the sewer system continues to age.  As existing I&I is removed, new investigations are started and new sources of I&I into the system are discovered.  However early detection and repair programs such as this one can extend the life and capacity of the system at a relatively low cost.

Spring Recycling Event Draws 365 Residents

Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator

By all accounts, Saturday’s recycling event at the DPW was a success. First, it was a sunny morning. Second, 365 households participated in the event. Third, three of the collection trucks left full, the rigid plastics container was full, and the scrap metal container was at least half full.  In addition, the DPW collected two pallets and several buckets of various batteries and several boxes of fluorescent lamps and CFLs.  “It was a great day from the DPW’s standpoint and from what we heard, the residents were glad to have the opportunity to recycle a lot of stuff they no longer needed,” said Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator.  “I don’t have the all the final weights yet but I’m guessing we surpassed 10 tons of material.

‘Recycle That’ Returns for Saturday’s Spring Recycling Event at the DPW Building


Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator

Recycle That is joining the festivities this Saturday at the Spring Recycling Event and will provide Bedford residents a reuse opportunity for clothing and fashion accessories, books, CDs, DVDs, small household goods, toys and stuffed animals. Saturday’s event runs from 9 a.m. to noon at the DPW facility at 314 Great Road. Click here to see or print a scalable PDF of the site plan. “We had Recycle That at last fall’s event and they left with more than a ton of materials,” said Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator.  “I know the local manager and when he heard about our spring event, he said they’d like to come back. “About 95 percent of consumer textiles can be re-used and repurposed,” said McGrath.

Happy Arbor Day: A New Princeton Elm is Planted in Bedford Center

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

A newly-installed Princeton Elm stands proud at the corner of Elm Street and School Way. It was installed by the Bedford DPW to celebrate Arbor Day, 2016. The tree will eventually shade the bench donated last year in memory of Matthew “Matty” Langone. The bench has become a popular neighborhood gathering place. Princeton Elms provide ‘high canopy shade,” and a proven, scientific record of resistance to Dutch Elm disease.

Spring Recycling Event: May 21, 9 am to noon at the Bedford DPW Building

Submitted by the Bedford DPW

The Bedford Department of Public Works will host its annual spring recycling event on Saturday, May 21st from 9 a.m. to noon at the DPW facility at 314 Great Road. “We are providing residents with the opportunity to recycle materials that are not part of the town’s curbside recycling program,” said Bedford Recycling Coordinator Ed McGrath.  “At the two recycling events last year, we recycled about 27 tons of materials. It’s apparent to the DPW that residents want the opportunity to recycle these materials. According to Recycling Coordinator McGrath, the DPW will be collecting electronic waste, Styrofoam, scrap metal, rigid plastics, fluorescent lamps, mercury-containing items, sealed lead acid batteries and rechargeable batteries.  Paper shredding will also be available to residents on that day. “We also wanted to make available the collection of fluorescent lamps and rechargeable batteries,” McGrath added.

Town’s Compost Center Opens for Season April 9

Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator

The Bedford Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road will open for the season on Saturday, April 9. The Compost Center will be open on selected Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on selected Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Department of Public Works recently mailed each household the 2016 schedule for the Compost Center. Yard waste is prohibited from regular trash. Residents may either compost yard waste on their own property or bring the yard waste to the Compost Center on Carlisle Road where it will be turned into loam products for Public Works projects. Acceptable yard waste consists of leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, garden trimmings, weeds and tree material up to one inch (1”) in diameter.

Compost Center Open March 12 for Branches and Brush

Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator

In the fall, you rake leaves.  During the winter, you accumulate branches, brush and other yard debris from trees and bushes. Bedford residents will be able to get a jump on the spring clean-up on Saturday, March 12. The DPW will open the Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. Town residents can bring branches, brush and other yard debris that is accumulating from the recent storms. The DPW facility doesnot accept trash, lumber or construction debris. “The DPW is not picking up tree branches unless they are blocking a road,” said Recycling Coordinator Ed McGrath.

Bedford Residents Invited to Participate in Area Climate Change Study

Submitted by the Bedford Department of Public Works

As  part of the MAGIC (Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination) group, Bedford is participating in a study to evaluate climate change in our area. 

At a recent public forum in Acton, attendees suggested ways in which climate change had or could affect the region.  Some obvious ones were increase in flooding and hotter summers, but some of the other concerns were not so evident, such as earlier blooming of plants and milder winters leading to insect survival. Residents are invited to visit the MAGIC Climate Resilience Plan website. The link to the survey will allow Bedford’s input to be included in focusing the future of the plan.

Trash and Recycling Collection in Lexington Park Suspended Due to Weather

Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford DPW Recycling Coordinator

As of 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 8, trash and recycling collection on the following streets (the area known as Lexington Park) is postponed until Tuesday, February 9:

Caribou Street
Gray Terrace
Houlton Street
Madawaska Street
Masardis Street
Perham Street
Sibley Drive
Woodland Road. These streets will have their trash and recycling collected tomorrow. The Bedford DPW recommends residents on these streets take their trash and recycling in today to avoid having the carts and bins plowed in. Trash carts and recycling bins should be out by 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.  

Water Main Break on Wiggins Avenue

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

According to a tweet from the Bedford Police and the DPW on Thursday morning, Wiggins Avenue is closed between Summer Street and the Cardinal Health property. The water main break apparently washed soil and sand from beneath the blacktop, leaving a thin crust of pavement that collapsed when a DPW backhoe loader drove along the road. In purchasing such equipment, the DPW specifies cabs with ROPS, rollover protection systems, that protected this morning’s driver. The Town of Bedford’s Facebook page notes that DPW crews are on site and repairs are underway, but through-traffic on Wiggins Avenue has been redirected until the repairs are complete. All Wiggins Avenue businesses can be accessed from Ashby Road.

Curbside Christmas Tree Collection Begins Monday, January 11

Submitted by Ed McGrath, Bedford DPW Recycling Coordinator

The Department of Public Works announced that Republic Services will be collecting Christmas Trees starting Monday, January 11. Before putting the Christmas tree at the curb, residents must remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, plastic bags and other objects. Trees should be placed separate from trash cart and recycling bins on Monday January 11 by 7 a.m.

Republic will be collecting trees through Friday, January 15.

A Snow Season Update from the Bedford Department of Public Works

Submitted byCarl Gagnon, the DPW’s new  Highway Operations Manager

The Town of Bedford Public Works Department is pleased to issue the following guide to winter snow removal operations.  This information is meant to inform Bedford residents of the snow plowing and sidewalk clearing procedures and to ask for your assistance so that the town roads can be restored for safe travel as quickly as possible following a winter storm. Snow plowing is a time consuming and laborious job.  Your cooperation is essential and we thank you for your patience. Snow Plowing Operations

When a snowstorm is forecast, the DPW typically responds by pretreating the main roads and hills with a salt brine solution to help prevent snow from bonding to pavement. Once snowfall starts, plowing operations begin when 2-3 inches of snow has accumulated.