WATERFORD – A simplified recycling system and its initial costs will be under consideration at the upcoming annual town meeting.

The transfer station committee has recommended raising $43,000 for a new compactor to be used in single-stream recycling. Under this process, residents will no longer have to sort out their recyclables. Instead, all material is transported to a facility where the sorting is done by workers and machinery.

On Monday, Beth Young, recycling consultant for Casella Waste Systems Inc. made a presentation before the Board of Selectmen on the process.

“Marketing is really the key,” she said.

Selectmen have already heard from the nonprofit EcoMaine, but Young said Casella’s relationship with Maine mills would allow the company to sell recyclables easier, even during times of economic downturn.

Recyclables from the Waterford station, which also serves Stoneham and Albany Township, would be taken to a sorting facility or a drop-off point, whichever is closer. The town will pay for the transportation costs, though Casella would transport materials from a drop-off point to a facility if necessary.

Currently, recyclables would be transported to a facility in Scarborough. However, Young said Casella is also committed to building another facility in Maine by the end of the next fiscal year.

Melissa Labbe, business development manager with EcoMaine, made a presentation to the selectmen on Jan. 21. According to the meeting’s minutes, Labbe estimated a savings of $6,000 to $8,000 per year, which would cover the cost of the compactor over five years.

However, the savings projected by the transfer station committee are even bigger. According to the town’s Web site, Waterford currently produces 86 tons of rubbish per month, of which 14 percent, or 12 tons, are recyclables. The committee estimates a yearly savings of $9,441 if recyclables can be increased to 25 percent of the tonnage, and $12,388 if they can be increased to 30 percent.

Young said most stations adopting a single sorting approach increase the percentage of recyclables by 15 to 20 percent.

“That’s very conservative, too,” she said.

Residents will address the issue at the annual town meeting at 9 a.m. March 1 at the Waterford Municipal Building on Route 35.


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