Hudson proposes extending sludge removal contracts

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Photo by/Dakota Antelman
Trucks wait at Hudson’s DPW headquarters.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

HUDSON – A measure to extend the term of town sludge removal contracts for up to five years is on the warrant for Hudson’s Saturday, May 1 Town Meeting. 

The Select Board endorsed the article in February. 

“The reason we’re asking for this is the regulatory landscape is changing regarding sludge from our treatment plants,” Executive Assistant Tom Moses said at the time. “Rather than deal with changes every year, it’s much easier to lock in a longer-term contract and move ahead with some certainty.”

According to the Department of Public Works’ website, “sludge” consists of contaminants removed from sewage, along with the chemicals used to remove them. 

In an interview this month, Director of Public Works Eric Ryder said the article will make it easier to manage contracts with the haulers who take this material out of town. 

In an email, Moses said the article would only affect future contracts the town has. Hudson currently has a one-year contract, but the town has used three-year contracts in the past, he said.

“The regulation of the sludge is changing, and the number of vendors willing to take it is diminishing,” Moses said. “The current issue that we are dealing with right now is odor. It is much easier for us to ensure continued service if we can enter into longer contracts.”

Ryder reiterated that it’s become more difficult to find places to take such waste. He said vendors now may own landfills and bid on the town’s contract if they have available space and if they see Hudson as having quality sludge that is low odor and low in water content.