June 24, 2018
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Four midcoast towns may see hike in trash bag costs

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — Residents of four midcoast towns can expect to pay more for trash disposal starting in the spring.

The Midcoast Solid Waste Corporation Board has recommended that the price for the 33-gallon trash bags increase from $1.50 to $2, according to William Chapman, chairman of the Rockport Selectboard and a member of the waste solid waste board.

Representatives of the solid waste board will meet with the selectboards in Camden, Rockport, Hope and Lincolnville to make the case for the increase, Chapman said. The increase is necessary because of increased costs from Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, he said. PERC operates the Orrington incinerator where the towns take their trash.

The selectboards would need to give their approvals for the increase to take effect. Chapman said the goal is for the increase to be in place by June 1.

A household that disposes of two 33-gallon bags per week would see its costs jump from $156 per year to $208 — a $52 increase.

This is the first increase in three to four years, he said, and no others are expected until 2018.

People can purchase the bags at a variety of stores in the four towns or at the gatehouse of the transfer station, said Jim Guerra, the manager of the solid waste corporation.

The corporation receives about 225,000 bags in a year. The corporation serves about 12,000 residents and ships about 6,000 tons of trash out each year.

Guerra said the key to controlling costs is increased recycling. He said the recycling rate is slightly more than 30 percent percent in the four towns.

“It could readily be in the mid-to-high 40s percent if people put their minds to it,” Guerra said.

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