The concept sketch for proposed changes to the Bar Harbor transfer station. PHOTO COURTESY OF TOWN OF BAR HARBOR

Renovation to include single-sort recycling

BAR HARBOR — The conceptual plan for a renovated solid waste transfer station here, approved by the Town Council last week, includes single-sort recycling for residents and businesses.

Councilors unanimously approved the plan, recommended by the town’s Recycling Task Force and Public Works Director Chip Reeves. A $2.6 million bond issue for the project will go to voters at the June 2017 town meeting.

The master plan, one of several options prepared for the town by engineering firm CES, calls for handling recycling and trash in the same areas of the facility they are now. It includes demolition of the existing recycling building and construction of a system of drive-through lanes for recycling and trash drop-off.

The recycling materials would go into roll-off containers to be hauled to the new Fiberight facility in Hampden, which plans to offer single-sort recycling.

The task force will work on a list of acceptable materials and a public education campaign, Reeves said.

Commercial recycling loads will be dumped on a nearby concrete slab with push walls and moved into the roll-off units using special equipment. “It becomes more mechanical rather than hands-on,” Reeves said.

A new building also will be built for the packer trucks carrying trash, allowing them to be completely enclosed. Two lanes above for trash disposal would be for residential use; commercial haulers would back in from the opposite direction.

Councilor Matt Hochman noted that having the trailers enclosed will eliminate a current problem of rain getting into them, which adds weight and increases tipping fees.

Next year’s budget includes three months using the current system, Reeves said, six months using a temporary facility at the former highway garage site while the new transfer station is under construction, and three months with the new system in place.

Permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection for the temporary facility already have been obtained, he said.

A resident of White Spruce Road near the transfer station expressed concern about pedestrian safety. “Cars come speeding up there; they don’t stop at stop signs,” she said. Defined walkways painted on the pavement may help, councilors said.

Reeves said the traffic flows may change over time, especially where vehicles line up.

Annual payments on the bond, Finance Director Stan Harmon said, would be $191,000, four percent interest for 20 years. Bond repayments would add 13 cents per thousand dollars of value on the tax rate next year, said Town Manager Cornell Knight.


Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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