ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland City Council gave its backing Monday night to a three-year deal for an outside contractor to dispose of demolition debris in the city’s quarry landfill.
The council voted 4-1 to approve the deal with D.M. & J. Enterprises Inc. of Winterport.
The contract runs through June 30, 2015. The cost for the company to dump debris in the former limestone quarry begins at $28 per ton of prepaid waste that has had recyclables removed, and rises to $29 in the ensuing two years. The cost goes from $36 to $38 per ton if the waste has not been sorted.
There was no debate on the matter at the Monday night meeting. Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson voted against the contract.
Past deals with outside contractors have generated considerable debate over whether the amount of money being charged was adequate.
The cost for residents to dispose of demolition debris is between $30 to $40 per ton depending on whether it has been sorted. There is no charge to residents, however, if they bring in a half pickup truck load or less of demolition debris.
Dickerson said Wednesday she voted against the contract because she said she has done extensive research on demolition debris and does not consider it safe. She said gypsum in sheetrock is poisonous. She said there is no way for the city to ensure the safety of every load that comes in to the city.
She said the city is only accepting it because it wants the money.
Supporters within the city government, however, pointed out that the city gains money to pay for the eventual closing of the landfill and that the city will save money once it is filled and Rockland will no longer have to operate a quarry landfill.
The life of the landfill is estimated at three to five years. Solid Waste Director David St. Laurent noted that D.M. & J. has disposed of debris previously at the Rockland landfill but that they have brought in little as of late. He said there has been a slowdown of disposal of both demolition debris, because of the slowdown in construction, and household trash being brought to the transfer station.
In other action, the council appointed City Manager James Smith or his designee and Old County Road resident David Tetreault to a committee that will develop recommendations to improve that increasingly busy rural, quarry-lined road.
Traffic on the road had jumped from 3,055 vehicles per day in 1984 to 7,720 in 2010, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.
Rockport and Thomaston representatives will also serve on the committee.
The council also appointed resident Sandra Schramm as the city’s resident representative to the Methadone Advisory Committee.
The proposed methadone clinic has yet to open although it is expected to open early next year.