DPW Announces Compost Center’s Autumn Schedule

Editor’s Note: A robocall to the town on Tuesday, September 29, noted that the Compost Center will be closed on Wednesday, September 30, due to heavy rains in the weather forecast.

The Department of Public Works has announced the fall schedule for the Compost Center.

Click to view the full-size image

Starting October 7, the Compost Center, located at 108 Carlisle Road, will be open every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., except for Veteran’s Day (November 11) and the day before Thanksgiving (November 25).

The Compost Center will also be open on Saturday, October 10, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then starting on Saturday, October 24, the center will be open every Saturday through December 5. Normal hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but during November the hours will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m

The schedule is available at www.bedfordma.gov/recycling under the Calendar tab.

Pursuant to the Town’s EPA Stormwater Permit, the DPW urges residents to properly dispose of leaves and yard waste and to not dump leaves in wetlands or waterways. Also, residents are asked to keep storm drains clear of leaf litter and pine needles. Fallen leaves are loaded with natural fertilizer and are a source of stormwater pollution.

Per state regulations, 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 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. Tree limbs more than one inch (1”) in diameter can be placed in the brush pile. Only paper biodegradable bags, available at a variety of stores, are allowed to be dropped off. Residents should empty plastic trash bags or containers of yard waste and bring them home for reuse.

Compost bins are available for $45 from the DPW at 314 Great Road. Contact Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator, at emcgrath@bedfordma.gov.

DPW Autumn Recycling Events at 108 Carlisle Road

The Department of Public Works is providing Bedford residents the opportunity to recycle or reuse a myriad of materials on two Saturdays, October 3 and 10. Both events are open to Bedford residents only and will take place from 9 am to 12 noon at the Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road.

Hydrant Flushing ~ September 29 to October 9

The Bedford Water Division will be flushing hydrants to ensure clean, clear water throughout the distribution system.  The work will be done on weekdays between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM from September 29 to October 9.  Signs will be set out the day before flushing in each specific area of Town.

Saving the Planet One Electric Vehicle at a Time ~ Drive Green ~ September 26 to October 4

Bedford’s chapter of Mothers Out Front sponsors a small sub-group to focus on transportation issues in and around Bedford. It has recently been discussing the use of electric vehicles as a necessary transition to reduce fossil fuel use. Electric vehicles are fun to drive, easy to charge, and can save you money!

Fawn Lake Weekly Update ~ September 11, 2020

The Dredgit crew continues to dredge and haul, having just completed 4 full weeks of dredge operations in the lake.  This week they removed 1,012 cubic yards of sediments for a total of 3,698 yards, approximately 46% of the total amount to be cleared.  This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations.  The dredge barge is working in the O – O cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6),  which is almost the middle of the lake.  The dredged material continues to be all organic, with a few small rocks and a couple of coins mixed in at the bottom.

Fawn Lake Weekly Update, September 4, 2020

In spite of a few rain events, the Dredgit crew was able to dredge and haul all week, removing an additional 1,036 cubic yards of lake sediments for a total of 2,686 yards, approximately 33% of the total amount to be cleared.  This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations.  The dredge barge has just about completed the P – P cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6), and will be moving to section O – O in the middle of the lake after Labor Day.

Fawn Lake Weekly Update ~ August 28, 2020

The Dredgit crew continued to dredge and haul all week, removing an additional 800 cubic yards of lake sediments for a total of 1650 yards, approximately 20% of the total amount to be cleared under the contract.  This material is being sent to the Lexington facility for reuse in their compost operations.  The dredge barge is still working in the easterly portion of the lake, having finished the Q – Q cross-section and has moved to the P – P cross-section (see construction drawings, sheet C-6), which is about 35% dredged as of this report.

Tick Fence Installation Underway for the South Road Soccer Fields

In the DPW’s filing with the Bedford Conservation Commission, they described the tick fence project: “This project is proposed to reduce exposure to ticks from the wooded area along the westerly length of the South Road Fields.

Travel Writing in the Time of Pandemic

It’s that time of an election year when the weeds are pulling ahead, exceeding all expectations, and the plants are literally falling by the wayside. We don’t need pollsters to predict this will happen. Things have been heated on many fronts lately, but eerily quiet in town.

In a “normal” year we might actually leave the ‘hood sometime in the summer months and by the time we get home and catch up with our friends, the thrill of the window boxes is gone and we graciously let them do as they will, yanking out the petunias and geraniums and eventually replacing them with teensy pumpkins.

Being home for the summer without the ability to even drive much of anywhere means we get a ringside seat of the yearly competition between the plants we actually put in the ground and whatever Mother Nature offers.

Textile Collection Bins Benefit Bedford High School Students and Our Environment

In February 2020, BHS Principal Heather Galante approved the Bay State Textiles “School Box Program” proposed by the Facilities Department. In the four months since textile bins arrived, over 8,000 lbs of textiles have been collected and BHS has earned over $400 in rebates! The bins are located behind the high school/library parking lot on Liljegren Way.

“The textile bins have been working well and we are thrilled to have some additional funds during a time when school budgets are tight.  We will use the funds at Bedford High School to support student groups focused on environmental causes.  Also, since our new back to school guidelines support classes in outdoor spaces, we will use some of the funds to beautify our courtyards and transition them into learning spaces.  We are so thankful and know our students and teachers will appreciate this” says Principal Galante.

Fawn Lake ~ Weekly Update ~August 7, 2020

The Dredgit crew made significant progress this week, erecting and connecting the multiple pieces of equipment needed for the dredge operation.  The screener, shaker, conveyors, centrifuges, and dewatering tanks are all in line ready to start.  Additionally, the weed harvester has made several passes across the lake to cut and remove the water lilies in preparation for the dredge operation.  This alone has made a significant visible improvement to the lake.  Approximately 50 cubic yards of aquatic vegetation has been cleared.

Mosquito Spraying Planned for Wednesday, July 29

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project is planning to use a truck-mounted aerosol sprayer to apply Sumithrin in Bedford on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  

Spraying is scheduled for Bedford neighborhoods located in the vicinity of Washington Street, Marion Road, Short Street, Alaska Avenue, Dunelm Road, Ridge Terrace, Meadowbrook Road, and Sweeney Ridge Road.

Compost Center ~ Summer Schedule, through August 31

The Department of Public Works recently announced a return to the summer schedule for the Compost Center.

The Compost Center, located at 108 Carlisle Road, will be open every other Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, and every other Wednesday from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm at 106 Carlisle Road. The autumn schedule will announced at the end of September.

Photographing Comet NEOWISE at Halibut Point

Mark David Bailey is known around Bedford as a dad, a talented photographer, and a man with the patience and skill to balance standing stones.

Earlier this week, Bailey went to Rockport with his daughters Lila and Norah to see Comet NEOWISE, balance a rock or two, and take some pictures.

The result?

The compelling image at the head of this story is daughter Lila’s. It was the best shot of the night, showing the 40-pound rock her dad balanced in the foreground, the sea, lights on the horizon, a scattering of stars, and Comet NEOWISE in good focus.

Click to see Lila’s full-size image

Local Skies Offer a Glimpse of Comet NEOWISE

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in comet-spotting in Bedford, local astronomer Alan MacRobert posted the following message on the First Parish announcement list on Saturday morning and authorized The Bedford Citizen to share it with the community.

Abby and I found the comet pretty easily just after dark, over the farmland next to Little Meadow off  Davis Road. Averted vision helped bring out more length of the tail. The view in 10×50 binoculars was fantastic!  A tiny bright head and a classic curved comet dust tail, just like the pictures. No color, no visible gas tail (which would be blue and straight).

The Power of Art: A Potential Liability Becomes a Peace Symbol

2017 was a tough year for trees.

One large dead one in our yard provided me with the opportunity to fulfill a long-time urge to carve something in a tree or pole.

I knew I could not do chainsaw art, nor carve animals, but I can do letters. I wanted to express the message of “PEACE”.

Mosquito Season is Upon Us!

Mosquitoes are most active in Massachusetts from June through August, but the true determination of mosquito activity is weather dependent.

Most adult mosquitoes can be found during the day in damp, shady areas where they can find protection from the sun.  Mosquitoes can spread diseases that may make humans and animals sick. Viruses carried by mosquitos can be transmitted to humans or animals through a mosquito bite.

West Nile Virus ~ Mosquito Treatment Program

The Bedford Department of Public Works has started its annual program to treat catch basins to prevent West Nile Virus, 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.