FARMINGTON – Waste management has been a major topic at selectmen’s meetings for the past several months and still will be as the town’s 2014-15 budget is put together. Richard Doughty, Treasurer of the Sandy River Recycling Association (SRRA), presented proposed figures for Farmington and other towns in the Association to stay with the sorted system currently being used as well as estimated costs for single sort recycling at the last meeting.

Doughty noted in his presentation that this is the first year that SRRA is asking towns to pay the full cost of recycling. For several years, profits from recycling were used to lower the costs to towns, but that is no longer possible since recycling hasn’t rebounded as had been hoped.

Doughty also noted that Farmington has shared the cost of transportation for all towns even though it is closer to the recycling site. This also doesn’t work anymore as the costs for Eustis and Stratton are increasing more significantly.

The sorted system will cost Farmington $22,053 for the coming year, which is a 49 percent increase. All other towns, with the exception of Carthage, will see even higher increases. It is estimated that single sort using the new facility being built in the Lewiston-Auburn area would cost $31,726.03 while shipping to the Portland facility would cost $41,430.95. Should the town invest some $25,000 in a compactor, costs would likely decrease to $13,939.54 and $17,821.51 respectively.

Doughty did point out that 177 trips were made from Farmington in the last four quarters and that there are only 200 to 208 work days. Since the budget proposed is based on per trip costs, decreasing the number of trips could reduce costs to the town.

Selectman Dennis Pike questioned if recycling would increase with single sort. Doughty replied that “single sort is easier, so those on the margins might recycle if it were easier to do so.” He added that recycling tends to go from 5 to 7 or 10 percent with single sort, although contamination is an issue for end users.


Chair Ryan Morgan thought that SRRA’s numbers would be a tough sell for all towns.

Doughty stressed that the single sort option would decrease costs for the Association if all towns went with that option. The Association would lose approximately $50,000 from sales but if towns invested in compactors, costs for everyone would decrease since fewer trips would be needed. He proposed seeking a volume discount for the compactors.

Doughty also noted that each town should have two containers to allow filling of one while the other was being emptied. Each container costs about $7,500. He suggested that several towns rotate containers to help further reduce costs by eliminating the need to return an empty container immediately to each town.

Selectmen were also given two options from Archie’s, Inc. of Mexico. The first option would see Archie’s take over recycling from SRRA with no supplement from the town for sorted recycling. For single sort, there would be a per bag charge, estimated at $1.00, with cardboard not included in the single sort.

Archie’s second option would take over the town’s recycling center and convert it to a regional center. The five year plan would step down the town’s operating cost to zero in year five, but bulky waste tipping fees would increase and users, instead of the town, would pay fees to cover operating expenses.

Morgan suggested that the topic be tabled until selectmen had had a chance to more thoroughly review the proposals and the other selectmen agreed. Town manager Richard Davis also suggested that the town’s Recycling Committee reconvene to take a look at the proposals and present their recommendation to the board. “Budget decisions need to be made soon,” he added.

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