JAY — Selectmen opted to continue the discussion on whether to change to single-sort recycling and what type of truck to buy Monday after residents voiced several questions about recycling.
Although the board has been discussing options for some time, Selectman Tim DeMillo said he thought the next decision should be whether it's time to go to single-sort, a move that could save the town an estimated $175,000 a year.
When those attending the meeting started asking questions, the board realized the need for more information to be gathered to help inform the public before making a decision.
The town has an opportunity now to make a change and purchase a 60/40 truck for single-sort recycling. The truck has a special compartment for trash and another for recyclables.
A subcommittee has met several times this summer to discuss how to proceed. The current town recycling truck is 11 years old and needs to be replaced.
If the town decides not to go with single-sort, some expensive purchases of equipment may have to made.
Jay's curbside pickup would remain the same with single sort but the method would change. Instead of separating recyclable items, residents could have one receptacle for trash and one for recyclables with both picked up at the same time. All recycled items including some presently not taken would be put in one container and sorted at a plant such as ecomaine in Portland.
The change could produce savings through non-use of the baler and other equipment and instead of eight employees, only six would be needed. The transfer station has one opening and another employee would be given the opportunity to work for the Highway Department reducing the number to six.
More items can be recycled with single sorting such as plastics other than No. 2 and pizza boxes minus the paper lining. Without the need to separate items, recycling often increases, according to the ecomaine website.
Some residents asked about enforcement of recycling. The town’s ordinance needs some work and needs to be updated, said Town Manager Ruth Cushman.
Another felt the town should vote on any changes. Cushman assured the residents that the town voted on curbside pickup and that would not change. It’s just a different way of doing it, she said.
“Compared to other towns who spend thousands of dollars less, we’re trying to save the town some money,” John Johnson said.
More information including savings will be collected for publication and the board agreed to put the topic of single-sort recycling on the agenda for the next meeting.