BELGRADE — Residents and contractors may have to pay more to haul demolition debris and old lumber to the transfer station.

The Board of Selectmen has asked the Recycling Committee to review the transfer station’s fees after the town’s disposal of that type of waste jumped from $3,600 in 2009 to $11,017 in 2010. Last year, the town decided against doing anything with its waste wood because of the cost.

Town Manager Gregory Gill said much of the debris and old lumber is hauled to the transfer station by contractors.

“What it costs to get rid of the demolition debris and wood waste is a lot more than what is being charged to drop it off,” Gill said. “When a contractor does a job here in town they bring in fairly large loads.”

George MacDonald, a member of the Recycling Committee, said the board asked the committee to see what other towns are charging for bulky waste and demolition debris.

“They wanted us to review how our prices jive or don’t jive with other towns,” MacDonald said. “The cost of grinding demolition debris into bio-mass boiler fuel has gone up, and we’re just looking at what other towns are doing to help reduce the burden to taxpayers.”

Some towns recycle demolition wood waste, among other materials, into bio-fuels for use in Maine’s wood-to-energy plants.

MacDonald said towns have the option of hauling it to a landfill for disposal or hiring a company to grind it up and turn it into bio-mass fuel to be shipped to burners.

It costs less to grind it up than haul it to a landfill, he said.

“The town incurs a cost for managing their sold waste,” he said. “Some towns have taxpayers pay for it. Some have the people bringing in the waste pay for it. Most towns are in between and that’s where we are. We’re just looking at a way to make it a manageable program.”

Once the committee drafts a proposal to change the fees and it is approved by the board, the town will schedule a public hearing, he said.

Clarence Burnham, transfer station supervisor, said the town has an extensive list of fees for different categories of demolition debris.

For example, the town charges $27 for full load of old lumber in the bed of a pick-up truck, $10 to dispose of a king-size mattress, and $5 for single mattresses and box springs.

For the past two years, he said the town paid to have the material ground into bio-fuel for under $2,000 a year. Then, last year, the town had a difficult time finding someone to do it for that price.

“The town puts out (request for proposals) annually to solicit offers, unfortunately they had to put it out twice last fall because of lack of competition,” he said.

The town contracted with Marshall Specialty Grinding in Chelsea, a father-and-son operation.

He said there’s only a few grinder operations because the equipment is so expensive.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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