Lincoln looks to reduce solid waste disposal costs

Posted July 22, 2009, at 8:16 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Town officials are mulling how to handle a 25 percent increase in solid waste disposal fees and costs, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said.

The problem, Goodwin said in her Weekly News newsletter, is that expense for the disposal of solid waste has steadily risen, while permit fees and other revenue have remained fairly static.

“In fiscal year 2009 we received revenue in the amount of $1,740 for the permits issued while our expense for the disposal of wood ash alone was $16,596.87,” Goodwin wrote. “This does not include the expense of disposing of the shingles and drywall material.”

Lincoln uses a permit system that allows residents and contractors to dispose of items such as demolition material, shingles and units containing Freon.

Public Works Director David Lloyd recently contacted the State Planning Office to see how many municipalities charge residents for solid waste deposited at transfer stations. The latest poll in 2006 showed 73 Maine towns used a pay-per-bag system, with prices ranging from 50 cents per bag in Abbot (population 630) to $3 per bag in Durham (population 3,381).

The difference in price is based solely on how much it costs the particular municipality to dispose of its solid waste.

Lincoln officials are examining how other towns handle similar problems. Among their findings:

• Winterport charges a $10 minimum fee for a partial load of demolition debris, $20 for a full load or $8 per yard on a multiaxle truck, plus a fee of $100 per ton for demolition and clean wood debris.

• Some transfer stations reject those items.

• Some municipalities ban commercial entities, forcing them to use landfills or energy recovery plants.

• Old Town charges $10 for a permit to dump items such as white goods, including microwave ovens, metal bathtubs, metal desks, metal cabinets, metal water tanks, 100-pound propane tanks, stoves and furnaces.

Lincoln has ample time for discussing options and reducing costs. Lloyd will discuss the matter with the Town Council soon, Goodwin said.

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