KINGFIELD — The cost to throw away consumer goods has gone up, and the municipal officials have decided to try something new.

The transfer station has begun a trial of single sort recycling until April, and Waste Management of Norridgewock has supplied a compactor for recyclables.

Currently, Kingfield and New Portland are members of the Farmington-based Sandy River Recycling Association, but selectmen spent a year looking for ways to encourage more recycling. SRRA’s facility cannot process all recyclables, so the town pays a high cost per ton to send waste to Waste Management’s facility in Norridgewock.

If the Waste Management single-sort recycling experiment works, the town could see the disposal fee for trash reduced from $52 per ton to as low as $40 per ton.

Bypassing SRRA did not mean the town was unhappy with them, Administrative Assistant Douglas Marble said, but the savings could be significant if users from Kingfield, New Portland, and member townships can recycle more waste.

Peter Gardner, the transfer station manager, checks each customer’s trash as it comes through the facility.

“Before the load is transported to Waste Management, it should be as dense and heavy as possible,” he said. “People should remove container tops, rinse out all containers, and crush the ones they can.”

Juice boxes, plastic shopping bags, tin cans, aluminum, glass jars, and mixed paper can go into the same compactor, with materials sorted later by a mechanical separator.

Currently, many of SRRA’s 21-member communities have transfer stations, and manager Ron Slater sends trucks to those towns to gather their recyclables and household trash. SRRA can process only two of the seven types of plastics, while Waste Management and Portland-based EcoMaine, take all types of plastics, as well as household trash.

Since some Franklin County towns pay to be SRRA members but do not have transfer stations, residents and private haulers must travel to Farmington.

If private haulers do not pick up recyclables, customers must drive them to SRRA. The town of Temple pays for curbside pickup for residents to transport the recyclable waste to SRRA. Recyclables are weighed, sorted, baled and sold to locations in Maine and other states, according to Slater.

Those materials can become polar fleece, doormats, and other durable goods.

New Vineyard-based Wattles and Mexico-based Archie’s are two of the largest private haulers and offer recyclables pickup for their customers.

Single-stream recycling, also known as single-sort and zero-sort, has become the choice in Livermore Falls and Jay.


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