The town of Wellesley has sustainability efforts underway this summer on a number of fronts:
MLP urges customers to cut back during peak times
With the heat wave upon us, the Wellesley Municpal Light Plant is encouraging customers to cut back energy use during the peak hours of 3-7pm. That means charging vehicles, running the dryer, etc., during off hours if possible, and turning up the thermostat on your AC a few degrees. While there’s no shortage of electricity, conserving during peak demand periods can cut costs and reduce reliance on dirtier fuel sources.
“As demand grows, price skyrockets. At last summer’s price peak on June 30, wholesale electric prices per MWh were over ten times the average for the year,” according to the MLP.
You can sign up for alerts to be notified by the MLP when it makes the most sense to reduce energy use (send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject and body blank).
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Wellesley Department of Public Works is going to be stepping up efforts to encourage those who use the Recycling & Disposal Facility to work harder at reducing the amount of solid waste they toss into the bins by reusing and recycling materials instead.
That’s because the price of transporting and disposing of that waste is skyrocketing, in part due to supply chain issues and fuel price costs faced by DPW’s partners.
During the June 30 Board of Public Works meeting, DPW Director Dave Cohen told the board that the department only got one proposal for its new five-year solid waste transport and disposal contract, even though about a dozen parties initially expressed interest.
The town will stick with current vendor Waste Management, but will get charged $112 per ton to start vs. the current $87.25.
“Just a dramatic increase that we’re going to have to find a way to make work,” Cohen said. “One of the ways we’re going to try to find to make it work is to really emphasize to people that we need to reduce waste…this is expensive, it’s going to cost people more.”
The vendor’s costs are rising due to supply chain issues and rising costs associated with the equipment it needs for hauling and disposal—plus high fuel prices.
Board member Jeff Wechsler raised the point of such services going up because of fewer out-of-state options for disposal of Massachusetts trash. Fortunately for Wellesley, its waste goes to Fitchburg, Mass., via Waste Management and the company has that deal locked in through 2030, a bit beyond Wellesley’s contract.
“Escalators and dee-scalators” in the contract could give the town relief if diesel fuel prices go down.
Track your water use with new online tool
Wellesley’s Department of Public Works Water Division has rolled out a Water Customer Portal designed to help customers keep track of their water usage and use that data to make changes to their behavior. Activate your account and view historical water use data, track current usage, and maybe event sniff out leaks via emailed updates.
Water conservation is among the ways Wellesley is looking to reduce its carbon footprint given that pumping, heating, and treating water burns energy.
DPW Director Cohen walked through how the portal works at the July 12 Board of Public Works meeting (about 1-hour mark of Wellesley Media recording).