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Rockland to reopen landfill

By Stephen Betts | Oct 10, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland may have two years’ worth of space in its landfill for demolition debris.

Rockland — Rockland's landfill should be open again in about a month after engineers determined there was additional space for demolition debris.

The city closed the landfill earlier this year, saying the former lime quarry was finally full after decades of use.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said Wednesday, Oct. 9, however, that former Public Services Director David St. Laurent had questioned the engineers’ earlier conclusion that there was no additional space. The engineers inspected the area again and found they had made a measurement error that shortchanged the city.

There is space for an additional estimated 12,500 tons of debris, Luttrell said. This should give the city another couple of years if it limits use of the landfill to local contractors and the Rockland public.

The city will then have to cap the landfill as it had long planned.

The additional space will save Rockland considerable money.

Since the city closed the landfill, demolition debris has been deposited on a paved, fenced-in area near the transfer station. The city then uses machinery to separate clean wood, metals and porcelain fixtures.

The remaining materials, such as drywall and plastics, are shipped to the Juniper Ridge landfill near Old Town. Assistant Public Services Director Chris Donlin said the number of truckloads sent to Juniper Ridge varies significantly depending on how much is brought in by contractors.

The cost of sending a truckload to the Juniper Ridge facility is $600 to $700, he said.

The city has used the adjacent quarries on Old County Road for various forms of waste disposal since lime stopped being taken from the quarries in the 1930s. The city stopped using the quarry for household trash in 1988, when the transfer station building was constructed. The city stopped dumping sewer plant wastes in the quarry in 1995.

A 2007 engineering report estimated the city could have used the landfill for another 60 years if it limited disposal to only wastes generated in Rockland. The City Council, however, negotiated deals with outside contractors in order to generate more revenue to pay for the closure and to close the dump earlier as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection wanted.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: George Terrien | Oct 11, 2019 10:02

Thank you, David St. Laurent!  In your departure, we lost a fine administrator of limited city resources, one whose skill continues to serve Rockland.  I regret that we lost out in your shift to Camden, and appreciate your service to its citizens as a net benefit to our region.

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