TREMONT — After going without a recycling program for the last two years, the town has accepted a proposal from Southwest Harbor’s Eastern Maine Recycling (EMR) Inc.
In May of 2020, Fiberight LLC, the owners of Coastal Resources of Maine, an advanced waste processing facility in Hampden, shut that facility down and left its member towns without a recycling program.
Tremont did not budget separately to fund recycling in its 2022 budget, but unspent funds from last year, totaling around $23,000, can be used to offset costs.
Dunbar presented the two proposals at the Tremont Select Board meeting on Jan. 3.
EMR’s single-sort recycling program would be located at the Southwest Harbor Transfer Station and cost Tremont $565 per month, regardless of how much is recycled.
Additionally, EMR would charge the town for each trip made to the Casella waste collection in Old Town to offload the recyclables. According to Dunbar, EMR’s Vice President Ben “Lee” Worcester estimated that if the town recycles 20 percent of its current solid waste, only two trips per month to Old Town would be necessary.
This same proposal would be offered to Southwest Harbor, Trenton and Cranberry Isles. Transportation costs would be lower if more towns sign on. If other towns participate, a trip fee of $510 would be prorated, based on how much of the load belonged to each town.
EMR did not give the town a specific timeline for implementation.
The other proposal Dunbar put forward came from ecomaine and it called for a single-sort program that would be located somewhere in Tremont. A large roll-off container would be included in the contract for the first year at no additional fee. The company offered the town two contract options – one to two years or three to five years – and bases the cost on how much is recycled, with tonnage and transport fees.
Dunbar explained the transport would have to be contracted with either ecomaine’s typical contractor or one the town chooses, and the recycled materials would have to be taken to Portland.
Lamoine, a town of comparable size to Tremont, uses ecomaine and recycled 71 tons last year at a cost of roughly $36,000, with transport fees between $3,000 to $3,600 per month.
“I think EMR’s proposal would generate a bit more usage,” Dunbar said.
The board voted unanimously to accept the proposal from EMR. Dunbar is awaiting a start date from the company. Once the program is ready to launch, the town will post the starting date around town and on the town’s website.