For the past few years, Lewiston city officials have been holding negotiations with Casella Waste Systems Inc. that would create a monopoly of the waste collection and disposal operation in Lewiston. The proposal includes increasing the current footprint of the city’s dump to 80 acres. The city would be allowing Casella to deposit 312,000 tons yearly of construction and demolition debris into the landfill.

City residents should not be fooled. The great majority of the trash would come from out of state, but would be considered Maine waste due to the state’s lax description and weak laws.

At the current rate of usage, the city’s landfill should last an estimated 600 years. If the deal is made with Casella, the dump would be full within 30 years, leaving the city with no room for trash after that.

To make matters worse, following generations living in Lewiston could inherit the cost of cleaning it all up. Materials included in the trash to be deposited would include the toxins mercury, lead, arsenic and asbestos, all combined and piled into a mountain of trash expected to rise to 400 feet – nearly the height of Apple Sass Hill. Decomposing material would release methane gas and toxic, putrid odors into the air.

The question which begs asking is, “Do Lewiston residents want that?”

In our opinion, the answer is a resounding “No.”

Dan and Jo Ann Gregoire, Lewiston

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