by Patricia Beffa-Negrini for the Monadnock Shopper News, July 17-23, 2024, Mid Summer Fun July 2024, page 5.

By DARLA THYNG for the Holiis Brookline News. Published July 15, 2024.

by Kathy Manfre for the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. Published July 1, 2024

by Patricia Beffa-Negrini in the the Keene Sentinel. June 29, 2024

by Ann Podlipny in the Concord Monitor. Published March 5, 2024

by Patricia Beffa-Negrini in the Keene Sentinel. Published January 29, 2024

by Susan Richman for Seacoast Online, January 21, 2024. (This LTE was also published in the Portsmouth Herald, Berlin Daily Sun, and the Concord Monitor.)

Article extensively quoting Cynthia Walter regarding potential airborne hazards from Turnkey Landfill.  LINK:


'Smells so bad': Rochester residents fed up as Turnkey Landfill is poised to grow

Karen Dandurant Foster's Daily Democrat

ROCHESTER — "What is it we are smelling, and why is it so bad?" City Councilor Tim Fontneau asked. "Is this a safety issue? People say they go outside, and it smells so bad they run back inside and close their windows."

Waste Management, which is awaiting a permit to expand operations at Turnkey Landfill at 176 Rochester Neck Road in Rochester, is facing questions about increased odor.

"We have been hearing from our residents, who are telling us there are very bad odors," Mayor Paul Callaghan said.

The questions came Oct. 17 during a public hearing the Rochester City Council held with Steve Poggi, director of disposal operations for Waste Management.

Poggi acknowledged the worsening odor, blaming unusually high amounts of rainfall this summer and fall.

He told councilors Waste Management is taking action to remediate the odor problem and indicated the company believes it is not a safety concern for area residents.

Callaghan asked Poggi if Waste Management had to remediate odor issues in the past. He said no.

Poggi said rainfall measured on site was 47.6 inches from January to September, and the facility's gas collection system has occasionally been compromised.

"Excessive amounts of rainfall can 'flood out' the gas collection pipes, causing landfill gas to leave the site outside of the closed collection system," he said. "This can cause temporary odor issues on site and in the surrounding area. We are aware of the increase in odor complaints over the past several months and have taken immediate and aggressive action to correct the causes. As noted, because collection pipes that take on water may have reduced capacity to manage landfill gas, much of the focus has been installing new collection pipes and wells."

Poggi said Waste Management expects the mitigation measures to be complete within the next couple of months.

"We have increased our efforts to engage with our neighbors as we undertake these site improvements," Poggi said. "The Turnkey facility has a dedicated phone line for area residents to call when they experience an odor they believe is coming from the facility."

He said residents can call 855-514-5157 "once an odor has been detected and provide specific details about the time, location, and nature of their observations." He said a third party takes the calls and relays information from residents to Waste Management so the company can "investigate, track and quickly respond to any odor complaints."

State Rep. Peter Schmidt, D-Dover, who heads the Strafford County delegation, said he has continued to hear concerns from constituents.

"An odor is not necessarily just annoying," Schmidt said.

"Depending on what is in there, it can be harmful to you. It can cause disease or can even kill you."

Residents are worried about expansion of materials at Turnkey Landfill, too

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is due to make a decision Wednesday, Oct. 25, on a permit that could allow an additional 1.4 million to 1.55 million tons of waste, some of it from out of state, to be accepted in an expansion of the Turnkey Landfill. This possibility has led to public concern over increased pollution.

According to the permit application, the more than 1,300-acre site in Rochester, which is operated by a private subsidiary of Waste Management, has proposed a plan to increase its disposal capacity and extend the lifespan of its 218-acre active landfill by adding another 60 acres. Three landfills exist at the site. Two are inactive and capped.

The Conservation Law Foundation fought the expansion with a lawsuit in 2020 but was not successful. Now it's up to the state Department of Environmental Services to decide if the Clean Air Act Title V permit to accept more materials will be granted.

Retired local scientist Cynthia Walter, who holds a Ph.D. in biology, is among those who raised concerns by submitting comments to a public hearing about the plans at Turnkey Landfill, held by the state DES last month in Concord.

She raised concerns about safety standards and said she does not believe the landfill should be allowed to take in more materials until much-improved monitoring steps are in place.

"Citizens can smell Turnkey in their neighborhoods, but no one knows what they are breathing. Air pollutants from landfills include many that harm health," she said.

Gary Milbury is the administrator for permitting and environmental health for the Department of Environmental Services' air resources division. He said concerns about pollutants is not a component of the permit Waste Management is seeking and cannot be taken into consideration. He said Waste Management already received a temporary permit.

"The permit looks at two areas," he said. "The first part asks to roll the temporary permit into a permanent one. This is normally done as a minor modification revisited every five years, if they meet all criteria. The second part is a requirement for (Waste Management) to meet all U.S. EPA updated requirements for landfills. We can open the permit to make sure those are included. Because of that, we agreed to call this a significant modification. But anything other than those two requirements are not part of the permitting process."

Milbury said predicting the impact of Waste Management bringing in more material is hard to predict. He also said because of interstate commerce clauses, the department cannot prevent material from coming in from other states.

"But in another point, the more they bring in, the faster they will fill up, and eventually they will need to cap and close the landfill," Milbury said. "We are certainly not unsympathetic to the concerns. The whole reason we permit is because of concerns. We can take a look and look at their best practices and work to remediate issues if found."

Walter said she is concerned there could be air pollutants that "do not smell at all. ... Particulate enters the lungs and can go deep. It can cause asthma, heart attacks, and other breathing problems. Children in those neighborhoods are playing outside, every day. I fear for pregnant women and their unborn babies."

Walter said the presentation given by Poggi to the Rochester City Council was worthless.

"It did not tell those people anything at all," she said. "There is no proof the odor is a result of the rain, and while it could be, they did not offer any proof, and they were very misleading, in my opinion."

A startup company’s plan to convert plastics into diesel fuel has so far failed to get off the ground in New Hampshire as skeptics continue to raise questions about the potential to create hazardous waste and air pollution. (Quotes Cynthia Walter.)

by Lisa Prevost for Energy News Network, March 15, 2023

LTEs by Susan Richman on the Turnkey air permit in the Conway Daily Sun, Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Online, and (shorter version) Concord Monitor. 

Pieces restated info from Cynthia Walter, who also provided edits.

By Virginia Drye Eagle Times Staff. Published online September 12, 2023

Contact Cindy Heath at or visit for more information.

By DARLA THYNG for the Concord Monitor. Published July 14, 2023.

by Patricia Beffa-Negrini in the Keene Sentinel. Published July 13, 2023

by Patricia Beffa-Negrini in the Keene Sentinel. Published June 29, 2023

Letter To The Editor: Reduce Waste, Skip the Stuff 

by Kristine Baber, April 21, 2023

Two Conferences call for Synod response to ‘plastic pandemic’

by Kayla Berkey | published on Mar 28, 2023 for the United Church of Christ website. Two quotes from the article:

The 2023 General Synod of the United Church of Christ will consider 17 resolutions and several bylaw changes when it meets June 30-July 4 in Indianapolis. This is one in a series of articles about them. Full texts of each of the proposed resolutions are available at the General Synod website

The resolution writers sought out partnerships with groups already doing work to reduce plastics, including Ten Towns and Beyond Plastics. “We’re ahead of the game on implementation,” said the Rev. Robert Grabill, who heads the New Hampshire group. “We’re pretending that it’s already going to be approved, and we want it to be active and implemented in a number of ways.

COMMENTARY: New Hampshire has a responsibility to do its best for the land and climate

by Ann Podlipny for the New Hampshire Bulletin, March 8, 2023

Making Your Voice Heard – The NH Network:  Environment, Energy, Climate 

By WAYNE D. KING and featuring Susan Richman of the NH Network Plastics Working Group and Pat Martin from Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Monadnock Sustainability Hub and the Keene Clean Energy Team. November 17, 2022.

Listen here:

Letter: Peterborough’s water is good

by Jonathan Gourlay for the Monadnock Ledger Transcript, November 8, 2022


Good Morning with Dan Mitchell on WKBK, October 5, 2022

Sound Cloud

Gilford leading New England in recycling innovation: Machine first of its kind regionally


Valley News article on Plastic Free July (link and text)

Go plastic-free in July

Plastic waste and pollution have reached epic proportions. Billions of tons of plastic have been produced since it was invented in the early 1900’s. Though useful, most has accumulated in landfills, landscapes, rivers, and oceans. Most plastic does not make it into the recycling stream. Single use plastic is everywhere.

What can be done to stem the tide? Plastic Free July invites individuals to try going plastic-free for the month, or at least reduce plastic consumption.

Here are a few ideas of how we can each make a difference: 

■ Avoid plastic-wrapped food. 

■ Use cloth or paper bags for shopping. 

■ Buy food in bulk. 

■ Bring your own silverware, cups, and plateware to picnics. 

■ Just say “no” to plastic products (toys, supplies, packaging, etc.). 

Take the challenge to reduce your plastic consumption or to go plastic-free altogether during July at

Interested in more plastic-free action? The Ten Towns, Ten Actions Campaign in New Hampshire is a group of volunteers taking action in their local communities to reduce plastic waste and pollution. See more at You can also find information at the Sustainable Lebanon Facebook page,, contact us at 603-252-1618 or email

Jon Chaffee 

President, Sustainable Lebanon

Choose to refuse: New Hampshire goes plastic-free for July

interview of Cindy Heath by Angie Skyeny for the the Hippo . Published July 13, 2022, page 6.

Letter: A plastic-free July

by Ann Podlipny in the Concord Monitor. Published: July 13, 2022.

Opinion: Marine plastic pollution – we aren’t off the hook yet

By KENNEDY McGRATH for the Concord Monitor. Published June 12, 2022.

New Hampshire Citizens for Progress episode with Host Rick Maynard interviewing Cindy Heath and Christina Dubin about the NH Network Plastics Work Group and the Ten Towns • Ten Actions Campaign.

The NH Network's Plastics Working Group began in August of 2021. The group has been collaborating, with guidance from Community Action Works, on a statewide campaign to inspire and support NH citizens to take action on rethinking plastic and reducing plastic waste. 

Everyone—individuals, groups, communities—can participate in the Ten Towns • Ten Actions Campaign. The Toolkit rollout Zoom event, which included speakers and a tour of the Toolkit, was held on February 7th, 2022.