Around the Towns: Amherst – Merrimack – Milford

Traffic will flow at Amherst transfer station in ’roundabout’ way for awhile

There will be a new – dare we say, jolly good – temporary traffic pattern at the Amherst transfer station starting Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Residents will enter the transfer station at the current entrance, drive up the hill bearing left to drop off recyclables, drive around the circle at the top of the hill clockwise, take a sharp left turn at the bottom of the hill into the new trash disposal area and find a parking place.

Note that the traffic flow is British style, with cars driving on the left side of the road, to avoid crossing traffic.

After dropping off their trash, drivers will leave the transfer station from a new exit.

Signs and personnel will help direct residents during this temporary traffic pattern. It will be in effect until the new recycling area is completed about mid-December. During stage two, residents will no longer have to drive up the hill to recycle because the recycling bins and the trash packers will be next to each other.

Get rid of old meds safely

A Merrimack high school group is offering a free and safe way for people to dispose of expired prescriptions and medicines.

The Merrimack Biodiesel Crew, a high school club that promotes alternative energy awareness, will collect unwanted medications and bring them to a hazardous waste facility for secure incineration.

Here’s how it works: Participants bring prescriptions and medicine, vitamins, veterinary medications and over-the-counter-medications to the high school on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Thermometers, needles or any type of medical waste will not be accepted.

Participants will be asked to cross off names on medication bottles, but to leave the medication name visible. Participants will also be asked general questions, such as their town of residence, why the medication is no longer wanted and how long it’s been kept. Personal information will not be required.

No medicine will be re-used or sold. A police officer will supervise the collection.

After it’s over, the medicines will be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.

The collection is free and will take place at the high school on McElwain Street.

For more information, contact the club’s advisor, Trey Sleeper, at 553-3835.

Handy cam

MILFORD – Firefighters were glad they didn’t have to use old-fashioned methods to look for the source of the fire at Heritage Estates last week.

The old way would have meant crawling around the floor in the heat and smoke. The new way was to spend a few moments pointing a camera-like device into each room.

“Now it’s a quick sweep, and out the door we go, ” said Capt. Ken Flaherty.

The device is called a thermal imaging camera and uses infrared radiation to form a white image of whatever emits heat, whether it’s the source of a fire or a person or animal, and it allows the user to “see through” dense smoke.

Milford firefighters used three of the devices Nov. 13 during the two-alarm fire in at Heritage Estates.

Capt. Brett French said the firefighters probably would have had to cause more damage opening walls to find the fire if the camera hadn’t been used.

The Milford department’s fourth thermal imaging camera happened to arrive on the day of the fire and wasn’t used because its battery needed to be charged.

All four cameras were purchased without tax money.

French organized golf tournaments at Crotched Mountain in 2007 and 2008 to raise money for the new $12,500 camera. Money from the department’s monthly waffle breakfast helped offset the cost, as did the town’s Kaley Fund.

French said the department would like to have one more camera, for the rescue truck, and will continue holding the golf tournaments every September to raise the money.