Commercial disposal fee eyed

BAR HARBOR — A proposal to begin charging commercial haulers a fee to dispose of solid waste at the town’s transfer station was tabled by the Town Council Tuesday. But a vehicle sticker program allowing only residents to dump trash was approved.

There currently is no charge for commercial or resident disposal of municipal solid waste.

Instituting a fee for commercial haulers would require adding scales to the new transfer station under construction, at an estimated cost of $80,000. The new transfer station is expected to open Friday.

The fee was designed to offset the cost and operation of the scales at the transfer station.

The proposed fee initially would be $47.50 per ton for one year, Town Manager Cornell Knight said in a memo. The fee could drop to $25 per ton after that to maintain operation of the scales.

“This fee only applies to commercial vehicles (packer and rack body trucks),” the memo reads, “so those residents that have a commercial pick up service would see a cost increase. It does not include businesses that haul their own trash to the transfer station.”

In January, Knight said, the council asked the Recycling Task Force to make the scales cost-neutral. The fee could drop after the first year, or it could stay $47.50, or increase to raise more revenue for the town.

Knight said a top-end fee of $95 per ton would raise $237,500 for the town and lower the median home’s annual property tax by $48.

Updated June 20 at 3:51 p.m.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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