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Transfer station board talks trash

By Christine Simmonds | Feb 05, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Public Works Director John Daigle reviews the budget at the transfer station committee meeting Feb. 4.

Waldoboro — The Waldoboro landfill is likely to be closing May 1.

At a transfer station management board meeting Feb. 4, Public Works Director John Daigle discussed the upcoming closure and the budget.

Daigle said he is working with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and an engineer to orchestrate the closing.

The plan is to cover the landfill with sand and put monitoring wells in with a filtering system.

Daigle said the DEP will pay for three-fourths of the project over time, but the transfer station has to pay the initial costs upfront.

Daigle said the station has to cut two feet off the top of the landfill, and he plans to use station equipment himself to save money. The goal is to have the landfill closed by May 1.

There will not be a new landfill, though Daigle said there was space to make a new one.

The DEP will not allow new landfills, and is recommending that every town close their landfills unless they are DEP certified.

Daigle said this means the trash brought to the transfer station will have to go to other landfills, such as the one in Norridgewock. For this reason, exact figures in the budget were difficult.

In other business, the board discussed the transfer station budget.

Daigle said the budget had to increase this year. He said last year the budget did not include the extra tonage the prison brings in.

Daigle said the prison gets charged 6 cents a pound, and last year the prison brought in 149 tons of garbage.

Other revenue coming in was money from the scales and from items such as mattresses and couches.

Daigle said it cost $12,602 to get rid of the extra items, and the station collected $14,830 from the scales.

Butler asked if the station was charging enough.

Daigle said the station charged enough to run that area, but the prices could change. He said the station charges what it costs to get rid of the waste.

The transfer station currently has 2 1/2 employees, but Daigle said they might need three moving forward with the closure.

He also said the budget included an increase in wages, as the employees were in a union.

Cushing Selectman Daniel Staples asked if this was a union negotiated increase.

Daigle said it was.

Town Manager Julie Keizer said the change in wages also reflects the minimum wage increase and healthcare benefits for the employees.

Other budget items included maintenance of the building and grounds, the fire alarm system, and rodent control. Daigle said they hire Morton to take care of rodents at $60 a month.

The charge for waste haulers will be increasing to $75 a year. Daigle said the transfer station opens 2 hours early for haulers, and the increase is fair. They are only open forty hours a week, 10 of the hours are for the haulers and Daigle’s crew helps them unload their trash.

The board then discussed increasing the price per pound for trash. The current rate is 6 cents, and the proposed increase was to 7.5 cents.

The increase would happen with both residents bringing in their trash to the station and the prison.

Staples asked if this increase was just to defer the costs of running the transfer station.

Daigle said it was, and the station is not making money.

Daigle also said the transfer station could be charging 12 cents per pound, which would take care of all operating costs and overhead, but a gradual increase is better than a sharp one. He said perhaps in four or five years the fee could be 12 cents.

The board decided to accept the budget as presented, which included the 7.5 cents increase per pound to both the prison and the public. The change would be effective July 1 to give the transfer station time to notify everyone.

Cushing Selectman Martha Marchut said the prison has said they were recycling, and wondered if that was true.

Daigle said it was true, and the prison was at about 18% recycle rate, which is what the transfer station requires for use.

The Waldoboro transfer station does not charge anyone for recycling.

Daigle shared a print-out from Clynk bottle redemption with a record of what had been collected from bottles and cans the public had given to the transfer station.

Daigle said the money gets split between Friendship, Cushing and Waldoboro, and all money goes to the food banks.

The board also discussed the orange transfer slips that are temporary passes for people who may be residing temporarily in Friendship, Cushing or Waldoboro but do not live in those towns year-round. The orange passes can be found at the town office for each town.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Feb 06, 2020 12:39

Back in the day on farms in Hope, we just back-hoed a hole and buried the garbage.  Those were the days.

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