Municipal Employees Union Transfer Station: Marblehead’s ‘Dirty Secret’

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The current transfer station – a structure where waste is stored and sorted – was erected after the old building was demolished in 2016. A dose of $ 5.75 million in municipal funds, from an initiative of Most important and costly building and site maintenance in 2011, was planned for the construction of a state-of-the-art transfer station. It was never built.

“The financial report for fiscal year 2018 indicated that the (city’s) achievements for the year included the completion of the landfill and transfer station project, which was really very confusing because, as you can see, the transfer station building was never built, “Jim Zisson, a resident who defends the MMEU, said at the union’s press conference on Monday. “No explanation was given at the city meeting as to what happened to the $ 5.75 million or why the building was not constructed.”

The structural defects are visible from afar, with the hole in the ceiling of the compact pit occupying about a quarter of the wall; However, this is only the beginning, according to MMEU president Terri Tauro.

“The now six-year-old temporary trailer was discovered to be rotting and rusting, allowing rodent infestation, structural weakening to the point where workers fell through the ground and rainwater escaped from the lighting fixtures, ”she said. “The sheet metal structure on the compactor was originally connected to the demolished building: it has an uncoated side that has been sheathed or covered, if you will. The weather protection on this thing flew over a year ago and it’s now sheathed too. “

As for the hole, “instead of fixing it, the ‘powers that be’ got the Trees Department to tear off what was left hanging, leaving portions of unsecured siding to come loose from its posts,” she added. .

Tauro also cited protruding rebar spikes and steep, slippery steps as other issues that the two transfer station workers frequently face.

“But perhaps the worst violation is the discovery of a rusted electrical box with live wires exposed,” Tauro said. “Contact voltage would cause instant death.”

Tauro said she made two site visits starting in late December, filed a grievance with the Department of Health and requested site maintenance logs.

“I’m still waiting for these maintenance logs,” she added.

At the press conference, Tauro and the MMEU called for the construction of a code-compliant, rodent-free building with no apparent risk to health or safety, as well as a safe rest area and toilet. and hygienic for workers.

“It’s humiliating to give a part of your life to a city and a job to find out that they don’t like you as an employee, let alone as a human being,” she said. .

Representatives from the MMEU will appear at a Board of Health meeting on Tuesday evening, where a “transfer station update” is scheduled to be on the agenda. According to Zisson, the main agenda for the MMEU and its affected parties is to get an official record of the $ 5.75 million approved at the 2015 town hall assembly.

“We asked the Board of Health in writing and in a public meeting for an explanation: where did the money go and under what authorization? “And we didn’t get any answers,” he said.

The Marblehead Board of Health did not return a request for comment.

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