Selectmen amend solid waste agreementHaulers voice concerns of accountability
Waldoboro — During a special public hearing held Sept. 10, residents and haulers of Waldoboro Solid Waste voiced concerns of the lack of accountability being imparted on those who do not recycle according to the ordinance.
More than 25 people attended the hearing, that ended with two sentences being stricken from Attachment A of the town's Solid Waste Disposal and Required Recycling Ordinance.
"Several of the proposed amendments are of a 'housekeeping nature'," said John Spear, town manager.
"The proposed change to Section A3 of Attachment A was new language regarding the separation of waste by permitted users and waste haulers with the goal of maximizing recycling," stated Spear in a memo prepared Sept. 6.
Terry Gifford, a waste hauler from Waldoboro, expressed her concern with the current language in the attachment.
The first sentence eliminated read "Waste Haulers shall educate and instruct their customers properly to separate their waste and to recycle in accordance with the terms of this Ordinance."
The second read "The Transfer Station shall hold accountable, Waste Haulers whose customers do not separate their recyclables and other waste."
Gifford said education on how to recycle is up to Waldoboro town officials.
"Waste haulers that haul recyclables do not work for the town of Waldoboro," she said. "Our time is money."
Recycling is required by all three towns belonging to the Waldoboro Solid Waste Station: Waldoboro, Cushing and Friendship. The station saves $90 per ton when items are properly recycled. There is no charge for the recycling to be hauled to Lincoln County Recycling.
"The station saves $90 per ton when items are properly recycled," said Town Manager John Spear. "The program pays for itself," he added.
Bob Butler, chairman of the Transfer Station Committee, explained in order to attempt to hold haulers and individuals accountable who were not adequately "recycling", the station started charging a dumping fee of $35 per cubic yard.
Gifford and others present claimed that it is "not a fair playing field."
Bob Worthing, Cushing selectman, said enforcement of the ordinance is necessary, but that the burden should not be on the hauler.
One hauler said someone had put a television set in a black bag and dumped it in "the hopper". In another county, it was said someone dumped a 100-pound gas tank.
"People do these things and we need to motivate them" to do the right thing, said Willy Payson of Cushing, who is on the Transfer Station Committee.
Gifford urged for a zero tolerance. "Someone can be fined for putting a gallon jug in the trash," she said. "Here we are a year later and we're still talking about how to enforce it."
"It's a work in progress," said selectman Ted Wooster.
"The goal is to reach the highest maximum percent of recycling as possible," said Butler.
The vote to strike the two sentences was 4-0-1, in favor of the amendment.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.
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