ELIOT, Maine — Trash isn’t cheap, at least not anymore for town residents who were previously able to toss their trash at the transfer station for free.
As of Sept. 3, the town began using a “Pay to Throw” system at the Route 236 transfer station. Residents must now purchase town-approved purple trash bags to use the facility for the disposal of their household waste.
Thirty-gallon bags cost $2 each and 15-gallon bags cost $1.25 each. The bags are mandatory if using the transfer station for waste disposal and can be purchased at Eliot Agway, The Route 236 Variety, The Eliot Meet Market, Irving Circle K and the Portsmouth Market Basket.
Before this change, Eliot residents were able to dispose of their household waste and recyclables at the 468 Harold Dow Highway station for free. The new pay-to-throw system will run as a six-month trial until March. However the Solid Waste/Recycling Committee “feels that 6 months is not a sufficiently long enough period to establish long-term habits” and believes the cost of bags will remain in effect to “offset the amounts that need to be raised by property taxes,” according to information from the town’s official website.
In addition to the increase in cost, the transfer station also reduced its hours. It is now only open two days per week, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As this change in schedule may lead to more traffic at the station, bags will not be sold there in an effort to save time.
Given the town’s current situation, trends and demographics, the town predicts the program and changes to create $102,000 in revenue, save $22,000 in disposal costs and produce $11,000 in incremental recycling revenue, all in year one. There will also be reductions in operational costs, which will be determined.
However, these changes have already swayed many residents to the private sector for waste and recyclables collection, according to a press release from Dorado Services, Inc.
Dorado is one private company that provides once-a-week curbside collection of trash and recyclables from homes in Eliot. The cost per month is $24, the equivalent of a dozen 30-gallon bags residents would otherwise pay for to toss their trash themselves.
Residents must weigh the costs depending on their budgets, how much waste they create, how much convenience they prefer and if they wish to participate in offsetting town taxes.
Dorado Services, Inc. is at 406 Harold Dow Highway #23 and can be reached at (207) 703-0557 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their corporate office is in Sanford, Fla.
More details on the town’s “Pay to Throw” program and how to reduce household waste can be found on the town website at eliotmaine.org by selecting “Transfer Station — Recycling Center” under “In Departments & Contact Information” on the left side of the home page and then choosing “Pay-to-Throw” from the drop-down options.
Distributed by MCT Information Services