Auburn considers charging for cleanup collections

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AUBURN — Spring cleanup could be back this summer with a fee attached, according to City Manager Glenn Aho.

Aho told councilors the city could collect some bulky waste from residents later this summer, charging a fee for the service.

Councilors discussed the idea Monday and it had some support.

Aho said last week he was investigating offering a summer cleanup collection program for Auburn residents willing to pay. Residents would register with the city via telephone or on the city’s Web site to have the city collect their bulky waste. Residents would pay a fee for the collections, between $20 and $30.

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Aho mentioned the idea Friday in his weekly memo to the City Council, and Mayor Dick Gleason responded with an e-mail objecting because it would discriminate against residents unable to pay the fee.

Councilor Eric Samson said he was concerned that neighbors would band together, paying one fee to the city and then putting all their bulky waste in one big pile.

Councilor Mike Farrell said he had no problem with that.

“The biggest expense for us is still the trucks and fuel,” Farrell said. “One pile for a neighborhood means one stop. We still come out ahead.”

But Councilor Dan Herrick said he didn’t think it would be a problem.

“I say we limit it to one truck load,” Herrick said. “If the whole neighborhood wants to put it all in a pile, fine. But if there’s more than a truckload there, it all has to go back.”

Herrick said he’d also like to see Auburn adopt a free punch pass system, letting residents take a certain amount of bulky waste to the Mid-Maine Waste Action Corp. on Goldthwaite Road free of charge.

Aho said he’d continue investigating the idea.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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