SUMNER – Buckfield-Sumner waste station manager Glen Holmes told Sumner selectmen Tuesday night that he does not recommend the towns switch to no-sort recycling until the volume justifies the expense of installing a new, larger compactor.

“Garbage is not garbage, it is a resource to use,” said Alison McCrady, recycling coordinator for Ecomaine, as she helped Holmes explain the system. If recycling is made easier, more people will participate, she said.

Ecomaine has a $3.7 million machine that separates paper, cardboard, metal and plastic into separate bundles for bailing and sale. Five percent or less of the material ends up rejected and sent to fuel the boiler. Most of this is diapers, used tissues and other things that should not have been in the recycle stream anyway, she said.

Towns that are using Ecomaine for recycling share in the profit from the operation, and in January the refund was $17.50 per ton of recyclables delivered, McCrady said.

Selectman Mark Silber said, “Recycling creates community spirit,” referring to the towns’ recycling program and the Swap Shop at the station on Route 140 in Buckfield.

In other business at the meeting, Selectman Glen Hinkley said the Road Committee is reviewing the contracts for winter roads maintenance and plowing the town office.

Selectmen Chairman Cliff McNeil said, “We need to rewrite our contracts,” if the town wants this work done differently.

Road Commissioner Jim Keach said that the committee is considering requiring all roads be cleared to state highway department specifications. Presently salt is only used on the state highways, which has resulted in many town roads remaining icy for much of the winter. He said this change would greatly increase the use of salt and its cost.

Selectmen’s secretary Cyndy Norton said Sumner’s property valuation is 79 percent of the state’s. Selectmen will ask voters to approve a property revaluation to avoid state penalties.

The last one was in 2002 at a cost of about $30,000.


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