April 21, 2018
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Veazie seeking volunteers for trash panel

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — Town officials are seeking seeking volunteers for a solid waste advisory committee being formed to explore ways the town can boost its recycling levels.

Town councilors decided to form the panel during a regular meeting last week while discussing cost increases for solid waste disposal and transportation.

“Costs are going to be increasing in the future, so one of the thoughts is how do we increase recycling,” Town Manager Bill Reed said Tuesday.

Reed said Tuesday that about three years ago, Veazie was among the first communities in the region to implement the single-stream method of recycling, which allows residents to discard their recyclables in one bin rather than in separate containers for paper, plastic, glass and other material.

With that program under way, one of the biggest complaints that town officials have been hearing about recycling is that the containers provided are too small for the amount of recyclable materials being discarded, Reed said.

To that end, some of the matters the advisory group could explore would be providing larger containers — possibly on wheels — or tweaking the schedule for curbside collection.

Reed said the town already is working with Waste Management Inc., the company that handles its recyclables, to see what additional types of trash can be recycled.

During last week’s meeting, council Chairman Rod Hathaway suggested that the town look into the pay-as-you-throw concept adopted by several area communities in recent years, noting that such a program would offer incentives to recycle, especially among large-volume waste producers.

“I think there’s a little bit of fairness and responsibility with that,” he said.

Councilor Joe Friedman, however, said he had checked with residents while collecting signatures for his nomination petition the previous weekend and found no support for the concept. He said property owners felt waste disposal should be among the municipal services covered by property tax bills and that public education could be part of the solution.

Residents interested in serving on the advisory committee should call the town office at 947-2781. For information about Veazie’s current recycling program, visit www.veazie.net.

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