WATERVILLE — City councilors Wednesday will consider forming a committee to study the city’s solid waste and recycling practices and recommend possible changes.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center following a 6:45 p.m. executive session to discuss labor negotiations.

If approved, the recycling committee would examine the city’s contract with the Oakland transfer station, the city’s contract with Penboscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington, and the cost of curbside waste pickup.

It also would look at the costs and benefits of a pay-per-bag system of trash disposal, the long-term viability of the city’s new recycling program at Shredding on Site on Armory Road and the costs and benefits of a curbside recycling program.

People who have volunteered to serve on the recycling committee are City Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, Councilors Michael Owens, D-Ward 2, and Karen Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7, Public Works Engineer Bob Gilchrist, and residents Stu Silverstein and Mark Macsoud.

Non-voting members are City Manager Michael Roy, Public Works Director Mark Turner, City Clerk Patti Dubois, Sustain-Mid Maine coordinator Linda Woods, and Ross Nason of Kennebec Valley Council of Governments.

If approved, the committee would report to the council Jan. 1 if recommended changes would have an effect on the proposed 2014-15 municipal budget. Members’ terms would expire Jan. 1, 2015.

Roy said Monday that the city’s cost for waste disposal is about $70 a ton. The city pays Oakland to take trash and transport it to PERC in Orrington. It also pays PERC a disposal fee and is reimbursed funds for every ton delivered.

The idea of forming a recycling/solid waste committee arose from discussions at council meetings over the last several months.

Skills Inc. Recycling recently stopped taking plastic, paper, cans, glass and other recyclables at its Industrial Park Road site and Waterville now recycles at Shredding on Site. Skills still recycles electronics.

Some residents recommended during the transition that the city start taking recyclables curbside, and some said the city should explore a pay-per-bag system. Jim Dunning, assistant general manager of Pine Tree Waste Services on Airport Road, said Pine Tree could offer the city single-stream recycling, which is the collection of all types of recyclable material at once.

Also tonight, councilors will consider approving a collective bargaining agreement with 15 firefighters who are members of Teamsters Local Union 340. Roy said the three-year contract proposes a salary increase of 2 percent for each of the three years.

Councilors also will consider referring to the Planning Board a request by Roland LaCroix Jr. to rezone 140 Western Ave. LaCroix wants to buy the city-owned property and turn the existing building into an apartment, bakery and deli. The property formerly was used by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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