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Sherborn uses a system called e911 (Enhanced 911), a system that has become a standard in Massachusetts, and in most of the country. When you dial 911 from any land line phone in Sherborn, your call should be routed directly to the Sherborn Police Department, who can then dispatch the proper Police, Fire, or Medical Response. The system has built in redundancies, so if there was a problem with the Sherborn 911 system, the call would be forwarded to a sister-department, in our case, the Dover Police Department.
When the call is answered, the e911 system provides the call taker with what is called ANI (Automatic Number Identification) and ALI (Automatic Location Identification) information, when available. This information provides dispatch with the phone number, and location of the calling party, however one of the first questions asked by the call-taker will be where the emergency is taking place.
The most important thing to know in an emergency (for both the caller and the call-taker) is where the emergency is taking place. With a location, the Sherborn Police Department can at least start a response, and call in, or call off other units/departments as is necessary.
Say you're talking to a friend from across town on the phone, and they tell you they are having chest pain, then the line goes silent. You dial 911 and tell the officer your friend is having a heart attack. The information displayed at the Sherborn Police Department is the information associated with the phone YOU are calling from. Knowing the address of the emergency saves valuable time in an emergency, and greatly increases the response time of rescue personnel.
It is important for all emergency calls to go to a single Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in a jurisdiction so employees can be trained in how to best handle the calls, and the response. In Sherborn, ALL Police Officers are certified to operate the e911 system, and are capable of dispatching Police, Fire, and EMS. Beyond that, the Police Department can request services from, Advanced Life Support (should the Fire Department request it), Med-Flight, even local utilities or the Highway Department.
You should dial 911 to report a fire, any type of medial situation, crimes in progress, or any type of suspicious activity. We ask that you do not use it to report a lost/found dog, power outages, or request school closing information. The Sherborn Police Department responds to ALL 911 Calls, including hang-ups and misdials.
The information needed depends on the emergency, but the most important things the call taker will want to know are WHERE the emergency is, WHAT the emergency is, and CALLER INFORMATION. Caller Information is asked for in case a follow up call, or other information is needed. A name and phone number where you can be reached could be invaluable in an emergency. The Sherborn Police Department will respond to a anonymous call, but providing as much information as possible will only aide us in providing the proper response.
In Massachusetts, if you dial 911 from a cellphone, the call first goes to one of three Massachusetts State Police PSAP's. The majority of those calls go to the MSP's Framingham PSAP which handles between 3,000 to 5,000 a day. There, the call-taker receives the ANI and ALI information described above, and with newer wireless phones, an APPROXIMATE location of the caller. The State Police call-taker will ask you for information such as your location, the nature of the emergency, and callback information. The call will then be transferred to the necessary PSAP (Sherborn PD for example). This means you will most likely be asked the same information twice. It's important for the State Police PSAP to know the details of the call in case the caller were to get disconnected during the call.
You should be prepared when you dial 911, especially when calling from a cell phone. The quicker you can provide accurate and necessary information to the State Police PSAP, the faster they can transfer you to the local PSAP. Click HERE for more information provided by the state.
Here is what the FCC has to say on that subject, probably the best source of information for this question. If you have a VOIP service, you should check with your 911 provider on how exactly your 911 settings are set up.
Here is how Comcast has addressed the issue with their Digital Voice Service.
911 can be test dialed to ensure the proper ANI and ALI information are being transmitted, or to show a child what to expect when dialing 911, PROVIDED the Police Department is aware of the test call PRIOR to dialing 911. You should call the Police Station at 508-653-2424 and provide your name, address, phone number and reason for wanting to place the test call. The Desk Officer will tell you either to place the test call, or to call back, if it is not a convenient time to do the test.
Land owned by the Town, the federal government, and qualifying charitable organizations who annually file an application for exemption are not taxed on the value of their real estate and personal property. Currently 221 parcels valued at $102,635,800 are exempt.
Other properties that are classified as (i) forestry, (ii) agricultural or (iii) open space and recreation are subject to lower real estate taxes. Currently (i) forestry land (MGL c. 61) totals 271.73 acres; (ii) agriculture (MGL c. 61A) totals 1,304.98 acres and (iii) open space and recreation (MGL c. 61B) totals 441.13 acres. See attached FY 2023 Chapter 61/61A/61B information (XLSX).
Assessors are required by Massachusetts law to assess all real and personal property at its fair cash value as of January 1st each year. The Town then uses a computer-assisted "Mass Appraisal" application approved by the Department of Revenue. This is used to calculate property values based on the market activity as well as certain property-specific attributes such as location, size, construction quality, style, and condition.
Fair cash value is the price a willing buyer and a willing seller would settle upon in an open market transaction.
Mass Appraisal appraises many properties at once. Mass Appraisal is typically done for property tax purposes, and the effective valuation date for all Mass Appraisals in Massachusetts is January 1st of the valuation year. A fee appraiser appraises only one property at a time. Such an appraisal is done for a specific reason, such as purchase, refinance, estate valuation, etc. The date of the appraisal is typically the day it is appraised.
Sales of vacant and improved properties are the primary source of data. Land values are set using all available land sales.
Since land values change at a different rate than building values, the bulk of any total change in a property value may be attributable to land. This makes good economic sense, as it is land that is in limited supply. Yard items include any structures outside of a house, such as pools, tennis courts, barns, sheds, etc.
Annually, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DoR) performs a statistical analysis of the Town's proposed assessments; this is referred to as "interim adjustments." Additionally, every five years the DoR conducts a comprehensive analysis of the Town's appraisal process and reviews property values in great detail to ensure that the assessments represent full and fair market values; this is referred to as a "revaluation year."
Your property's assessed value is meant to reflect the market conditions for similar properties during the recent year analyzed (not the "current" market). Please be aware that your tax bill may have increased even if your property's market value decreased during the year analyzed. This is due to the effective and equitable allocation of your portion of all Town obligations, which are voted upon in Town meeting and further described in Question 10.
Sherborn property record cards are available online at the Patriot Properties website. The current fiscal year's assessed values are listed on our website: FY 2020 Assessed Values
Interior inspections are an important part of the Town's assessment process. Just as a potential buyer of real estate inspects the interior of a home before making an offer, the Town tries to make a better determination of overall Town property values based upon accurate data using interior inspections. Examples of data reviewed include:
It is the responsibility of the Assessors' Office to establish the taxable valuation of each individual piece of property in the Town. However, the Assessors do not create value. Buyers and sellers create the value via their transactions in the marketplace.
At Town Meeting each year a budget is voted on by the townspeople of Sherborn, taking into account the limits of Proposition 2 ½ and how much money will be needed to meet all appropriations and other expenses. The Tax Levy, which is the difference between the amount approved and the money received from other revenue sources (i.e., state aid, local receipts and available funds) must be raised by property taxation.
Valuation assessments are developed independently from the budget and are used only in the last step of the budgeting process to distribute the Tax Levy. Changing property values do not affect the overall Tax Levy, but it may result in the redistribution of the Tax Levy burden among all taxable properties in town.
The Select Board annually establish the fiscal year residential and commercial/industrial/personal property tax rates. Those rates represent a tax per thousand dollars of assessed value which, when applied to each property's assessed valuation, yields that property's annual tax bill. The total tax on all properties equals the annual Tax Levy.
Proposition 2 ½ pertains to the total amount of money raised by taxation, also known as the Tax Levy. Generally speaking, the Tax Levy may not increase greater than 2.5% over the prior year's levy plus a factor referred to as new growth which captures the increase in valuation and the Tax Levy attributable to new construction. However, this limitation does not pertain to individual tax bills. Your bills may increase or decrease by any amount in any given year based upon Mass Appraisal and the amount needed for the Tax Levy.
There are multiple programs that offer tax relief to qualifying property owners including state and local tax relief. Please refer to our section titled Tax Relief Programs for more information.
Tax bills are issued quarterly and are based upon Sherborn's fiscal year which begins July 1. The due dates for the payments are:
Interest accrues at 14% for all overdue Real Estate tax payments.
Real Estate and Personal Property taxes are assessed to the owner of record as of January 1st. If the property is sold, the tax bills cannot be changed until the following fiscal year. The original owner should forward a copy of the tax bill to the new owner.
The law specifies that bills be sent to the owner of record at the Registry of Deeds. Often mortgages are sold, or homeowners refinance the property, which can result in an overdue bill. Homeowners should forward a copy of the bill to the Escrow department at their bank/mortgage company.
No. Bills must be received before the due date. Please allow time for delivery.
The charge for a municipal lien certificate is $25.
Contact the Assessor's Office at 508-651-7857 for information on tax relief programs for abatements and exemptions.
The Sherborn Conservation Commission is charged under state law (Wetlands Protection Act) and town by-law (Sherborn General Wetlands Bylaw Chapter 17) with protecting wetlands, streams, and ponds from alterations, including development, that would degrade the wetlands' hydrological and biological functions.
Massachusetts was the first state to adopt a statewide wetlands protection law and ours is among the strongest. The Wetlands Protection Act, as adopted in 1972, has been amended and expanded almost every year, most recently by the 1996 Rivers Protection Act. In Massachusetts, unlike in most other states, communities rather than state agencies have primary authority over wetlands protection, through the Act and through local laws. Your Sherborn Conservation Commission has primary permit responsibility for work conducted in wetlands and their associated buffer zones.
Marshes, streams, and ponds aren't the only wetlands governed by the law. Some wetland resources lack standing water. Wetlands are any lands where the soil is saturated for a significant portion of the growing season. Just because water pools occasionally in the early spring does not automatically make an area a wetland. Conversely, an area may be a wetland even if there is never standing water there. Even if a project isn't in a wetland, a project near a wetland can degrade that wetland by increasing siltation and runoff. For this reason, the Commission has jurisdiction over all work, including landscaping and brush-cutting, in any wetland resource area and within 100 feet of a wetland.
The definitive test of the wetland is an analysis of the soil in the 12 inches immediately beneath the surface. A survey of vegetation is another, though less reliable, means of identifying a wetland. Certain types of vegetation, such as cinnamon fern, winterberry, skunk cabbage, and high-bush blueberry prefer to grow in wetlands.
Anyone planning a project must consult the Commission to determine whether a wetland is present. The Commission's agent is trained to identify wetlands. Simply fill in the short Request For Determination form available at Town Hall and the Agent will visit your site to evaluate the soil conditions and vegetation and review your building, landscaping, or brush-cutting plans.
Under Sherborn Wetlands Regulations, the first 50 feet from the vegetative wetland border is deemed a "no alteration" zone where no activity is permitted. The second 50 feet from the wetland border are considered "the buffer zone" where limited, or temporary, alterations may be permitted but permanent alterations and buildings typically are not. The presumption is that any activity within 100 feet of a wetland will increase siltation and run-off, interfere with the hydrology, and damage wildlife habitat. Since our town relies on residential wells for our water supply, the town adopted the Sherborn Wetlands By-Law which is more stringent than state law.
The Commission has permitted some construction in hardship situations, often involving an existing septic system that has failed. In these cases, the minimum distances required between a septic system and a domestic well leave no other option but to put a portion of the leaching field within the 100-foot zone. The Commission has taken the position that such alterations are allowed because it is better to reduce the risk of groundwater pollution by making certain that failing septic systems are replaced by new Title V systems.
In a few circumstances where options were extremely limited, the Commission has permitted activity to occur in wetlands in exchange for wetland replication or conservation easements protecting a natural area from future development. Replication projects create new wetlands, always considerably larger than the wetland that was disturbed. The Commission's preference, however, is to keep existing wetlands intact.
Many Sherborn structures pre-date the passage of the Wetlands Protection Act (1972) and Sherborn's Wetlands By-Law (1979). These structures may not comply with today's rules but are grandfathered. However, any prospective additions or landscaping activities undertaken on grandfathered structures are subject to current law and by-laws and must be approved in advance.
Vernal pools are isolated wetlands that hold water in most years for two continuous months in spring or summer and are generally fish free. These pools plan an important role in our ecosystem as this pool is the only breeding area for several unique species of amphibians and freshwater amphipods. Most of the species that breed in these pools are terrestrial species that live in the leaf litter surrounding the vernal pool and only reproduce using these pools in the spring.
If you think you have a vernal pool on your property, please notify the Commission. All vernal pools are protected by Sherborn Wetlands Regulations, but there is a state procedure for certifying and protecting vernal pools as well. To date, only a fraction of our vernal pools have been identified and certified.
If you own acreage, consider a conservation restriction on a portion of your property, as a number of residents who want to protect our town’s natural character have done in recent years. A conservation restriction protects the parcel from future development without ceding ownership or the right to sell the property. In addition, the grantor of the restriction has the right to decide whether to permit public access for hiking or horseback riding.
An Estate of Homestead is a type of protection for a person's residence, in the form of a document called a "Declaration of Estate of Homestead". The form is filed at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located, referencing the title/deed to the property. It allows homeowners in Massachusetts to protect their property up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000)* of the value per residence, per family.
*Existing homesteads will get the increased protection automatically after October 26, 2004.
All Homesteads must be filed in the county in which the residence is located. To acquire a claim of Homestead for a mobile home, you must file at the city or town clerk's office in the city or town in which the mobile home is located. Be sure the form is filled out completely and has been properly notarized, and remember to enclose a check for the proper recording fee with the Homestead form. The check should be made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Homestead forms may be obtained at most Registries of Deeds. They are also available at legal stationery stores or your local attorney's office.
The real property or manufactured home which serves as an individual's principal residence upon filing a declaration of Homestead, shall be protected against subsequent attachment, levy on execution or sale to satisfy debts to the extent of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per residence, per family.
The statute further states that "For the purposes of this Chapter, the word 'family' shall include either a parent and a child or children, a husband and wife and their children, if any, or a sole owner". Thus, a single person who is the sole owner of a primary residence may file for a Homestead protection to the extent of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).
The real property or manufactured homes of persons sixty-two (62) years of age or older, regardless of marital status, or of a disabled person or persons, regardless of age, shall be protected against subsequent attachment, seizure or execution of judgment to the extent of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each.
Real property or manufactured homes must serve as an individual's principal residence and each individual filing will be eligible for protection up to a maximum amount of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each regardless of whether such declaration is filed individually or jointly with another. Elderly persons filing jointly, regardless of marital status, will be exempt up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each. Be sure to use the proper homestead form when you file.
A disabled person is defined as an individual who has any medically determinable permanent physical or mental impairment which would meet the disability requirement of supplemental social security. You must attach to the Homestead form either the original or a certified copy of the award letter issued by the United States Social Security Administration, or a letter signed by a licensed physician registered with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. Disabled persons must meet the disability requirements stated in 42 USC 1382 (a) (3) (A) and (C). Basically, an individual is considered disabled - for the purpose of this law - if he or she cannot engage in any gainful activity as a result of the physical or mental impairment.
Yes. Should the parent who declares the Homestead die, the law protects the residence until the youngest unmarried child reaches the age of eighteen (18) and until the surviving spouse dies or remarries.
No. The law states that only one spouse under 62 years of age can file a Homestead under Section 1 on behalf of themselves and his or her family. However, for elderly and disabled individuals, the protection of $500,000 under Section 1A is for each person's ownership interest in the residence. If a non-elderly homestead exemption already exists and one of the spouses reaches the age of 62, it would seem to be beneficial to have that person file an over 62 (elderly) homestead. However, because of a recent Bankruptcy Court decision, it would be safer for both parties to continue to claim the protection afforded by the traditional (under age 62) homestead. This is because Section 2 of Chapter 188 states "The acquisition of a new estate or claim of homestead shall defeat and discharge any such previous estate". That means that the filing of an elderly homestead by either spouse would rescind the under age 62 homestead and open up the claim period for previous creditors. It would be better to wait until both spouses reach 62 and then file a joint elderly homestead. In all cases, you may want to consult an attorney.
Liens imposed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare, as a result of the payment of Medicaid benefits, are exempt from the Homestead protection. However, as of the printing of this pamphlet, as long as the recipient, or the spouse of the recipient, is alive, the Commonwealth will not look to the residence for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits. If the surviving spouse is also the recipient of Medicaid benefits, the Commonwealth will file a claim for reimbursement from the estate for the entire amount of Medicaid benefits paid, once the surviving recipient has died. The rules and regulations regarding Medicaid are complicated and constantly changing. You should seek competent counsel to address your specific concerns regarding Medicaid.
The following are exempt from the Homestead Law:
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has determined that registered land held in trust cannot be given Homestead protection. The case did not address recorded land. Until there is court clarification, we suggest you record a Homestead, even if your property is in trust and is not registered land.
Existing law on the effect of refinancing on an existing homestead is unclear. If you are in this situation, you should ask your lawyer whether you should file a new homestead after refinancing.
No. A Homestead can be declared only on an applicant's "principal residence". A person can have more than one residence but the statute only allows the protection on one's legal domicile. There is no legislative intent to allow the exemption to apply to a vacation and not primary residence. For example, a husband cannot declare a Homestead exemption on one residence while the wife declares the exemption on the other residence, unless each can prove that the residence is their "principal residence".
Absolutely not! The Homestead protection is not a substitute for home insurance or any other type of liability insurance. These are separate and distinct types of protection. The Homestead protection will be effective after any liability insurance is used to pay for any judgments that are related to liability incurred under that particular insurance policy (e.g. home, automobile, etc.)
Remember that the Homestead Declaration protects a homeowner only from unsecured creditors. It will not offer protection from first or second mortgage lenders and/or equity lenders who possess a security interest in a home. If payments are not current on these types of secured credit, a homeowner runs the risk of losing the home to foreclosure proceedings.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is an asset liquidation proceeding, a homeowner is allowed to claim certain exemptions which function as asset protection allowances. If a Homestead Declaration is in place, and the state exemptions are claimed, a homeowner would be allowed to retain a much greater portion of the proceeds from a liquidations sale of the home than s/he would be allowed to keep under federal bankruptcy law exemptions. This factor in turn decreases (or eliminates) the possibility that the homeowner would be required to sell his/her home as part of Chapter 7 proceedings.
In all Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, the court will require a homeowner to repay some or all of the unsecured debt over a three- to five-year period. You will be required to repay a percentage of that debt at least equal to that which the unsecured creditors would receive were a homeowner required to proceed under Chapter 7 liquidation regulations. By increasing the amount of the home's exemption, the Homestead Declaration decreases the proceeds which would become available for repaying unsecured creditors through the Chapter 7 alternative. This may decrease the percentage of the unsecured debt the homeowner would be required to repay through a Chapter 13 proposal.
This information can be discussed with qualified counselors from the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, a private non-profit agency with chapters nationwide. In MA, contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England at: 800-208-2227.
No. It simply asks for basic information. Just be careful when writing your book and page number or your Certificate of Title number. Both are shown on your deed.
The estate or claim of Homestead will be terminated upon the sale or transfer of the real property or mobile home during the declarant's lifetime, upon the death of the declarant and the remarriage of the declarant's surviving spouse and upon each child reaching the age of majority or by a release of the Homestead estate duly signed, sealed, and acknowledged by the declarant, and recorded at the Registry of Deeds, or when the property ceases to be the principal residence. In addition, the Bankruptcy Court has ruled that the filing of a sequential declaration of homestead acts to discharge a prior declaration.
The cost of filing the Declaration of Homestead is thirty five dollars ($35). The declarant filing must sign the form and his/her signature must be notarized. Remember, all declarants over 62 must sign.
In the large majority of cases your real property is recorded land. Your evidence of title will be a quitclaim deed.
If your property is registered land, you may have received a large document called an Owner's Duplicate Certificate of Title. Owners' Duplicate Certificates of Title were eliminated as of April 9, 1997. After this date, you would have received a certified copy of your Certificate of Title. (If you are not sure whether your real property is recorded or registered, call your Registry of Deeds.)
Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2004 guarantees this act shall apply to declarations of homestead recorded or filed for registration pursuant to section 1 or 1A of chapter 188 of the General Laws before, on, or after the effective date of this act, but the increase in the amount of homestead protection for declarations recorded or filed for registration before the effective date of this act shall not have priority over, and shall be subordinate to, any lien, right or interest recorded or filed for registration before the effective date of this act.
There are generally two methods by which land can be divided. One method is known as an Approval Not Required (ANR) plan. This applies to plans that simply adjust lot lines between abutting properties for sale or exchange, or creating new building lots on an existing street if the lots have sufficient area and frontage and have adequate access. This is a simple process that does not require a public hearing and must be completed within 21 days of submittal. The other method is the process required under the subdivision control law. It is a formal procedure requiring public hearings and abutter notifications. This process is required if the project includes the construction of new streets as well as new building lots. It requires a careful analysis of construction standards, traffic patterns, drainage, etc. Any action that requires changing lot lines, under either process, requires a plan that must be prepared by a professional surveyor and/or engineer and signed by the Planning Board. Of course, the subdivision process requires much more detailed information on many plan sheets while the ANR process generally requires only a single sheet.
There are three residential zoning districts in Sherborn requiring one, two, or three acres of land for a building lot. There are also 2 business districts. In addition, there are two "overlay" districts (which overlap the primary districts) for flood plains and elderly and affordable housing.
Sherborn Zoning Map (PDF)
The Scenic Road Act is a state statute designed to protect trees and stone walls within the road right-of-way for streets that have been designated as "Scenic Roads." The Act may be adopted by towns. Sherborn has adopted the Act along with its own set of rules and regulations. In essence, it requires that prior to removing a tree or removing or altering a stone wall, you must have a public hearing before the Planning Board. These events generally occur when a property owner wishes to move or establish a new driveway, often when building a new house or addition to an existing house.
List of Scenic Roads (PDF)
You must first get approval from the Planning Board for a break in a stone wall or removal of any trees and also get a curb cut permit from Community Maintenance and Development. It should be noted that Sherborn limits curb cuts to one per lot.
The types and numbers of permits needed can vary widely based on the size and type of project. It should be noted that any project might involve permits from the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Board of Health, Zoning Board of Appeals, Building Department, and possibly others. A good place to start is the Permitting Procedures Manual (PDF) which provides a summary of the responsibilities of each Town board, commission and department that may be involved. It also includes a chart that indicates the types of permits needed for various projects.
The town does not have a leash law. In the event you find a lost dog you may contact the police station so we can attempt to locate the owner by looking up the dog license number.
You should dial 911 to report a fire, any type of medial situation, crimes in progress, or any type of suspicious activity. We ask that you do not use it to report a lost/found dog, power outages, or request school closing information. The Sherborn Police Department responds to ALL 911 Calls, including hang-ups and mis-dials.
Contact Eversource Electric at 800-592-2000 to report all power outages.
An explanation of court rulings on this issue can be found in this article.
Conducting traffic stops is one of the most dangerous, yet necessary tasks a patrol officer does. Although intimidating, a second cruiser will usually stop by to ensure the safety of the officer that initiated the stop.
To find out if classes at Pine Hill or either of the regional school's have been cancelled, you can refer to the local news stations, or check the Dover-Sherborn Community website.
Manuals can be obtained at any registry branch, or online at the Registry of Motor Vehicles website.
Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are often called greenhouse gases. Many gases exhibit "greenhouse" properties. Some of them occur in nature (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide), while others are exclusively human-made (like gases used for aerosols). More and more people are becoming concerned about the effects that human-activity gases will make the atmosphere so warm that it could lead to a climate change
Take action right now at home to help reduce greenhouse emissions. Seal leaks in the basement and attic where leaks are greatest. If you replace your windows, choose Energy Star qualified products for better performance.
Use Green Power. Green power is electricity that is generated from resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro facilities. Conventional electricity generation, based on the combustion of fossil fuels, is the nation's single largest industrial source of air pollution.
You can either buy green power or you can take steps to create a greener home, such as installing solar panels.
Be green in the yard. When you use a power mower, make sure it is a mulching mower to reduce grass clippings. Better yet, use an electric mower powered by solar panels. Composting your food and yard waste reduces that amount of garbage you send to landfills, and also reduces your household's greenhouse emissions.
Shop with a "green" mentality. Look for products with minimal or no packaging. Avoid individually-wrapped portions and disposable products. Favor a high recycled content. Choose products in reusable containers. Bring your own canvas bag so you don't need paper or plastic. Avoid pump toothpaste which uses too much plastic. Buy quality items that will last a lifetime. You will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but you will also save money in the long run!
It is the "PC" thing to donate your computer to a charity. Donating your computer helps charities, helps us use valuable materials wisely, and also keeps working PCs out of landfills. Before you pass that computer on, you first need to make sure your machine is one that someone can use. If it works and is less than five years old, then someone can probably use it.
When you delete files in you Windows or MAC computer, the operating systems don't completely erase your files. That's where people can get in trouble with identity theft. Third-party software is a great way to remove all your files.
Disk Wiping Utilities: Disk wiping is a process that writes a series of 1's and 0's over the disk in an effort to securely remove sensitive data. Free disk wiping utilities are found in Active at Kill Disk, Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) and eraser. Programs like DriveScrubber, Shredit, R-Wipe, and Clean, offer free trial periods. Additional secure (destructive) file and disk deletion tools and be found Free Secure File / Disk Deletion Utilities site.
Each disk wiping program comes with specific directions for use, and speed of the process depends on the speed and performance of you computer.
MAC users already have a similar option under "Secure Empty Trash." And with Disk Utility you can perform a secure erase of all drive free space. The Apple site offers step-by-step instructions plus a good overview of when to reformat a hard drive. For a general search of the Apple knowledgebase.
Keep usable computer out of the waste stream by donating them to charity.
World Computer Exchange (WCE) provides computers to help connect youth in 63 developing countries to the Internet. To learn what is needed and how to drop off your computer to the Hull, Massachusetts facility, visit the World Computer Exchange site.
Tecschange is a Roxbury organization that uses older computers for computer repair courses to benefit those who cannot afford to buy a new computer. Each student works on several computers, and at the end of the course each student gets to take home a repaired computer. The rest of the computers are donated to non-profit organizations. For information on what is needed and how to make a tax deductible contribution make a telephone call to 617-442-4456 or visit TecsChange Site.
The National Cristina Foundation is a not for profit foundation dedicated to the support of training through donated technology. Please visit the National Cristina Foundation website for more information
Start at home with the three R's:
Here are ways to reduce water usage:
Just say "no" to:
Change your lights to change the world:
Here are some of the symbols to look for:
Here are some hints for recycling:
Recycle old eyeglasses:
Evacuate the area, making sure that no one walks through the mercury. Make sure to evacuate pets as well. Open all windows and doors to the outside and close all doors to other parts of the house. Do not allow children to help with the clean up.
What to do:
This is one T shirt you can't buy. You have to earn it by doing something for the Sherborn Recycling Committee. You can earn a shirt by volunteering at the Swap Shop, or by helping to clean up the Recycling Center, or by staffing a table display at an event. These are just a few examples of the many things you can do to help. There are often things to do, so just give us a call at 508-653-8794, or send an email to Carol Rubenstein, and we'll give you a job. And we'll give you a T shirt too!
Hap Ruane was the long-time manager of the Sherborn Transfer Station and before that of the Sherborn Landfill. He oversaw the operations until his death in 2001. He was one of the original members of the Sherborn Recycling Committee and someone who believed in recycling long before it was popular. For many years when Sherborn was quite small, he drove Ruane and Father's one and only rubbish truck, servicing those residents himself who preferred to pay for private service rather than go to the landfill themselves. As Sherborn grew, his sons Mike and Billy joined him, driving and working at the Transfer Station.
Hap was quite a character. He loved old cars, and always had one fixed up and decorated for the fourth of July parade. He was very creative, and built sculptures out of scrap metal that used to adorn the hill (often referred to as Mt. Ruane) that is the capped landfill. In his later years as he became more infirm, he used to make his way around the Transfer Station in an old beat up golf cart, but no matter how he was feeling, he never missed a day when the Transfer Station was open. He entertained many visitors in his headquarters, old mobile home on the transfer station site where he always had the TV on, which didn't distract him at all from seeing a car without a sticker. Those residents who didn't know him and were "caught" thought he was a curmudgeon, but everyone who knew him loved him dearly.
Hap and his wife Jo'an lived on Hollis street with their children Roxanne, John, and Jimmy. When Roxanne married Ron Buckler they never moved out. Ron went to work for Hap driving the Ruane and Father trucks and working at the Transfer Station. Through their shared activities, Ron grew as close as a son. After Jo'an's death, Hap continued to live on Hollis street with Bucklers and their children until he died. In 2004, the Recycling committee decided to rededicate the Recycling area in Hap's name.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you take the following steps if a fluorescent light breaks:
At this time we do not know of any place that will take TV's for free because of market conditions. However, Best Buy will still take most other electronics for free. Check Electronics, Appliances and Fitness Equipment Recycling at Best Buy for more information. Although Sherborn only charges for TV's and not for other electronic devices you bring in for recycling, we do get charged by the vendor who picks them up for processing. Therefore, we would prefer that you use Best Buy for all your electronics recycling.
Staples may still take your monitors for free as well as other electronics, but not TV's. Check it out Recycling Services at Staples.
Factoid: Electronic Waste is a Heavy Problem
As the technology industry sees continued growth, the amount of electronic waste is also increasing. A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that in 2005, used or unwanted electronics amounted to approximately 1.9 to 2.2 million tons. Of that, about 1.5 to 1.9 million tons were primarily discarded in landfills, and only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled. By recycling old electronic products, useful materials such as glass, plastic, copper wiring - even precious metals - can be collected and re-used in the manufacture of other products. Recycling not only minimizes the amount of waste needed for disposal, it also minimizes the extraction of new raw materials from the earth and resources required for processing. Here is a complete list of all the electronics you can recycle for free in our Electronics Shed.
Working together we can whittle down our electronic waste for a better environment!
Small easy changes make a big difference in the environment. For example, if you replace a 75-watt incandescent light bulb with a 20-watt compact fluorescent light bulb you will save, over the bulb's lifetime, around 550 kilowatt hours or nearly 500 pounds of coal, which translates to 1,300 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide and 20 fewer pounds of sulfur dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere. If you make these changes in your home, and your Sherborn neighbors make these changes in their homes, that is a big difference in Earth's environment.
In 2007 during the Bush Administration, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act calling for all new general purpose bulbs to be 30% more efficient than standard incandescents by 2012 (for 100-watt bulbs). There are a number of bulbs that now meet this requirement, including the CFL. However, in the climate of partisan polarization that exists now, this law has come under fire.
n May 2012, the Sherborn Police Department got its own lock box for residents to bring unwanted prescription drugs with no questions asked. Now when you find that children have moved out and left a medicine cabinet full of unwanted medicines, you will have a safe way to dispose of them. Or if a loved one dies, you can safely clean out the medicine cabinet and bring everything to the lock box for safe disposal. There will be no chance that a neighborhood pet can get sickened from eating these medicines from trash left out on trash day. Or that they might contaminate our septic systems and groundwater after going into the toilet.
There's a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of flushing any drug. A 2008 investigation by The Associated Press found that 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals are flushed each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities.
There's a notable presence of pharmaceutical substances in our drinking water. In 2008, a CNN report found that, "A vast array of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans."
What does that mean for us? According to the EPA, studies have shown that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation's waterbodies, some causing ecological harm. However, to date, scientists have found no evidence of detrimental effects on human health. Although scientists to date have found no evidence of adverse human health effects from pharmaceutical residues in the environment. nonetheless, the FDA does not want to add drug residues into water systems unnecessarily. The agency reviewed its drug labels to identify products with disposal directions recommending flushing or disposal down the sink. This continuously revised listing can be found at FDA's Web page on Disposal of Unused Medicines.
Transfer Station Stickers are free. For each sticker, a copy of the registration for each car is required.
For a car that is company owned or leased, a copy of the insurance or lease agreement is also required showing both VIN and the Sherborn resident's name and address.
If you do not have a current sticker you may be prevented from disposing of your waste and recyclables and you may be prevented from leaving items at the Swap Shop.
2021 Transfer Station Stickers are available from the Select Board office by mail. Mail a photocopy of your current automobile registration, along with your request for a Transfer Station Only sticker, including your contact information and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope to: Town of Sherborn Select Board Office, 19 Washington Street, Sherborn, MA 01770. Allow reasonable time for response. When you receive your sticker, please post it visibly on a driver's side rear car window of the vehicle you plan to use at the station. A vehicle without a current sticker may be prohibited from leaving refuse at the station.
When the Town Hall opens again, please come to the Select Board Office, Town Hall from Monday through Thursday 9 am to 4 pm, or Friday 9 am to noon. You can all call Selectmen's Office for more information: 508-651-7850
The Sherborn Recycling center is a dual stream facility - which means that we need you to separate paper and cardboard material from recyclable containers (e.g. jars, bottles, cans, etc.) and place them in our separate compactors.
We have no outlet for plastic bags. Please take plastic bags to a supermarket or department store with a plastic bag recycling program such as Market Basket, Roche Brothers, Shaw's, Walmart, Target, and others.
Here is a link to PlasticFilm Recycling places that collect plastic bags.
Please refer to CDC, state, and local health department guidelines and recommendations. While enjoying our recycling facility and transfer station facilities, we encourage residents and contractors to take reasonable and prudent health protection measures during these unpredictable times. Please protect yourself and others from sharing the latest surface-transferred and airborne maladies.
RecycleSmart has a link with tips to Reduce. Reuse, Recycle, and Compost with some interesting suggestions and tips for things to do at home, ways to save, how to dispose of used personal protective equipment (PPE) and more!
No. Eversource will remain the main electric utility for Sherborn and will continue to deliver your electricity, address any power outages and bill your household.
If you are an Eversource Basic Service customer you will be automatically enrolled into the standard (default) option of the CCA plan without having to take any action. If you are interested in any of the other program options offered, you would need to opt into them by phone or online.
No. You can opt-out either before the program starts or later, and return to Eversource Basic Service by calling or going online. There are no penalties or fees for opting out entirely or for changing your selection within the CCA.
You can opt up online or with a phone call.
You can opt down online or with a phone call.
You won't be automatically enrolled, but you can opt-in later. It is advisable to first check the terms of your existing contract as some contracts require minimum enrollment periods and charge early termination fees.
While the program should offer the potential for savings compared with Eversource's Basic Service rate, savings cannot be predicted or guaranteed. This is because the program price would be fixed long-term, while Eversource Basic Service prices change every 6 months. As a result, the program price may not always be below the Eversource Basic Service price. Over the duration of the contract, however, consumers routinely see a cost advantage and appreciate the cost stability.
The cost is determined by several factors, including the market price for renewable electricity when Sherborn signs its supply contract, the amount of additional renewable electricity included, and the amount of electricity you use each month. The only way to find out the price for Sherborn is a yes vote at the town meeting, authorizing us to engage with a broker. The broker then negotiates for the lowest price. At no point is Sherborn obligated to continue until a contract is signed.
Yes. If you are an Eversource Basic Service customer, you would receive a letter in the mail with program information, including pricing, before the program would launch. This information would also be shown on the program website and Sherborn would make public presentations before the program launch.
For 2020, Massachusetts requires that renewable electricity must be purchased from New England renewable energy projects to match 16% of your electricity use. This amount will gradually increase to 35% by 2030.
It depends on the contract term. Sherborn would evaluate the bids received from electricity suppliers and select the contract duration that provides the best value for the town's customers.
Yes. Net metering will work the same way. Your net metering credits would continue to appear on your Eversource bill and be calculated based on Eversource's Basic Service price, not the program price.