OXFORD – The Oxford transfer station may be in violation of state Department of Environmental Protection code and is likely to be fined, Lois Pike told selectmen last week.

“We’re out of compliance for monitoring on a schedule,” said Pike, a member of the Solid Waste Committee.

She also said the transfer station might be at risk of exposure to methane gas, which is being emitted from the 20-year-old closed landfill located within 100 yards of the station. The gas could potentially come up under the dump, Pike said.

Town Manager Mike Huston said it was the first he had heard of the methane gas issue. He said he has maintained communication with the DEP officer reviewing the transfer station. Huston replied, “If we took in demolition waste, we’d be in violation of DEP code. Currently we have no outstanding issues with the DEP.”

Yet the problem of what to do about Oxford’s demolition waste remains.

“The DEP doesn’t allow us to take it. We don’t have enough money to build a container system,” Pike said. A container system would cost taxpayers about $114,000, she said. “Every transfer station in the state is having the same problem, and it is going to get nothing but worse,” Pike said, referring to the enormous costs to be in compliance with DEP code.

Resident Tom Cushman said the DEP is “really cracking down.”

The transfer station accepts porcelain, furniture and refrigerators. Mixed board, shingles and other building demolition waste must be taken to the Auburn facility.

“I know it is an inconvenience to take the waste to Auburn, but the reality is we can’t take any, and that is the way it was voted,” Pike said.

Road Foreman Steve Brown said, “We have to deal with this (waste dumping) on the roads. We find it and have to take it to Auburn. It does create a problem.”

Selectman Dennis Sanborn noted that some have reported that it is cheaper for residents to hire a dumpster and have their waste hauled away than to transport it to Auburn themselves and pay the dump fee.

Chairman David Ivey added discussion of demolition waste to the agenda due to recent harassment the transfer station personnel were experiencing from frustrated residents.

At the suggestion of a resident, Ivey agreed there should be more signs at the dump indicating that demolition waste is not accepted. Another resident suggested having an officer stand at the transfer station to keep the peace.

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