MILO, Maine — Taking out the garbage in Milo for years has meant simply hauling a bag or two to the curb, but that may not be the most cost-effective way for the town to handle solid waste, according to some local officials.
While solid waste costs have been discussed for years — nearly every year since residents voted in June 1989 to implement curbside pickup — selectmen agreed Tuesday that a study should be done and options presented to residents.
“This has been gone over for the last five years. Somewhere soon we need to stand up and make a decision,” Selectman Richard Mullins said Tuesday.
Resident Fred Trask agreed. “Milo has got to do something now,” he said Tuesday. Trask, a member of the Penquis Solid Waste Association and the town’s recycling committee, said a study needs to be done to determine if there would be a cost savings by eliminating curbside pickup.
Milo pays about $220,000 a year for solid waste disposal, which includes curbside pickup, the town’s participation in the Penquis Solid Waste Association and transportation costs to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington. Unlike their household garbage, residents are required to take items such as furniture, building materials, scrap metals and television sets to the Penquis Solid Waste Association’s landfill.
If Milo’s garbage truck were sold, that would mean one less payment for the town and would open up business opportunities for private trash collectors, according to Mullins.
Town Manager Jeff Gahagan said Tuesday that even if curbside pickup were discontinued, there might not be any savings from the change. He said those funds might have to be shifted to other needs, such as a trash compactor.
The study and the options would be presented at public hearings and residents would need to approve of any change, according to Gahagan.
Also Tuesday, selectmen rescinded action taken this summer on the Veterans Waterfront Park schematic plan. The plan called for the elimination of nine Water Street parking spots, which would have been replaced with green space and trees. Trask, a local businessman, had asked the board not to eliminate the parking spots, which are frequently used by customers and visitors, and the board honored his request.