Starting Wednesday, Pittston residents will be able to use the town of Richmond’s transfer station as part of a four-month trial to see whether Pittston will join the Lincoln Street facility going forward.

Pittston has been looking for a new place where residents can discard bulky waste such as old mattresses since the town left Augusta’s Hatch Hill Solid Waste Disposal Facility at the end of last year. The West Bath facility it had planned to have its residents use isn’t open on weekends, but the Pittston Board of Selectmen didn’t realize it until after dropping their contract with Hatch Hill, said Jane Hubert, the board chairwoman.

“We were really kind of upset with that,” she said. “The facility was there, available to us, but it wasn’t the best program for our waste products.”

Pittston will pay Richmond $5,000 to use the Richmond transfer station for four months, until Jan. 17. The town raised $5,000 at last year’s Town Meeting to hold cleanup days on which residents could dispose of bulky waste, and voters at a special town meeting in June approved using that money to join the Richmond transfer station instead.

David Thompson, a Richmond selectman, said the towns will evaluate the four-month trial to see whether it’s working and whether the $5,000 is too much or too little, depending on how much waste Pittston residents drop off. He said Richmond is eager to collaborate with Pittston but cautious because it costs the town money to get rid of some types of waste.

Richmond plans to hire two more employees for the transfer station — one to fill a previous need and another to handle the expected increase in use from Pittston, Thompson said. Richmond estimated it would cost an extra $15,000 annually to accommodate Pittston joining, he said.

That’s still significantly less than the roughly $40,000 Pittston was paying to use Hatch Hill in Augusta.

Pittston residents will need to buy a sticker for each vehicle using the transfer station. The stickers are available at Pittston’s Town Office and the transfer station, Hubert said. Prices to dispose of different waste can be found on Richmond’s website for its transfer station. There is no cost for wood or metal waste, but people must pay for disposing of most bulky items.

The transfer station is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The Wednesday hours will be shortened to noon to 4 p.m. in November for the winter.

To start, members of Pittston’s Board of Selectmen and Recycling Committee and Richmond’s board plan to volunteer to help out on Saturdays to ensure a smooth transition.

If the partnership works, Thompson said he thinks it could be a model for other towns in close proximity to each other. Dresden already has been using the transfer station for several years, he said.

Peter Warner, chairman of Richmond’s board, said the selectmen are hoping the arrangement with Pittston will work out.

“The only way our towns will survive in the future is if we consolidate these services,” Warner said. “That’s why we’re working so hard.”

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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