MEXICO — For what’s believed to be the ninth year in a row, funding for the solid waste budget for the region will remain flat.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday night, Mexico Town Manager John Madigan said the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste Board again voted not to increase funding.

“Yes! Great job,” Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick said in response to the vote.

The solid waste district includes the towns of Mexico, Rumford, Dixfield, Peru, Roxbury and Byron.

Madigan credited the reason for the flat budget to past years when revenue from recycling was high. Recycling revenues are not great now, but when it was good, “we were able to use those revenues to keep the assessment to the towns the same every year,” he said.

Madigan said the total assessment to the towns was $835,000. But they needed to take from the fund balance of $189,000 to balance the budget.


“With the recycling market down, the revenues are down,” he said. “So money carried over from when revenues were really good have been carrying us for several years.”

Madigan said he believes the slowdown in recyclable revenue is tied into the price of oil, and that money for recyclables has been going down for the past four years.

“Hopefully, we’re at the end of the downward cycle,” he said.

Madigan then noted, “The real savings to the town is if people recycle even if there’s no money because it saves us $51 a ton in tipping fees, plus $11 or $12 a ton to transport it over to Norridgewock. So you’re looking at $63 in direct costs per ton just to dispose of it and to haul it.”

“Anything that’s pulled out of the waste stream to recycle, even if there’s no money — we’re saving a lot of money,” he said.

“I believe in it,” Selectman Byron Ouellette said.


Examples of things that can be pulled from the waste stream include all cardboard, plastics, newspaper, white paper and tin cans.

“And certainly metal is a big item, but we don’t pick it up curbside,” Madigan said. “People can drop their metal off at the transfer station.” 

Patricia Duguay, chairwoman of the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste Board, is the Byron representative and can answer any questions about recycling through the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition at 207-364-7408.

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