NORRIDGEWOCK — Selectmen signed an agreement Wednesday night between the town and the Crossroads Landfill operator. The deal establishes a new per-ton rate, paid to the town as the landfill host, that will increase as a new phase in the expansion of the landfill develops.

“The Board of Selectmen and me as an administrator are confident that we’ve reached a strong agreement that will benefit the long-term increase of our receipts from waste management and lower the taxes, invest in infrastructure and to lower our debt load,” Town Manager Richard LaBelle said on Friday. “We have negotiated a contract that will ensure that people of Norridgewock will continue to see increases that will align with or exceed the cost of living so that we do not get stuck with a flat rate.”

In negotiating the agreement with Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine, LaBelle said the host fees the town collects that are paid at a per-ton rate for waste disposed at the Crossroads Landfill will more than double.

The agreement will replace the one signed in 2002 and will allow the town to include a revenue-generating cover that was not previously included. In 2002 the rate paid the town was set at $1.50 per ton and rose to $1.70 per ton after eight years. In 2018, the town collected $623,155.65 in host fees according to a fact sheet handed out by the signatories to the new agreement.

The rate the landfill operator will pay the town until Dec. 31, 2019, will remain $1.70 per ton, according to the new agreement. But then, on Jan. 1, 2020, the rate will increase to $2.50. In addition 50 cents per ton will be paid on all revenue generating cover. The $2.50 per-ton rate will be paid until approvals from federal, state and local regulators are issued for the landfill expansion project, Phase 14.

The Phase 14 project was presented to the town at an informational meeting in September. It will occupy 49 acres of the 993-acre landfill property, introduce new initiatives, including textile diversion, hazardous material diversion and composting, and is expected to extend the life of the landfill to 2041.

Once the approvals for the beginning of the Phase 14 project are issued, the per-ton rate paid to the town jumps to $3.25 and then to $3.80 per ton once the beginning of Phase 14 disposal is in place, according to the agreement.

Town Manager Richard LaBelle said the transition into the new phase will happen over the course of the next few years.

“It’s not just a quick shut off from the old phase to the new,” Labelle said. He expects state approval will come during the third or fourth quarter of 2021. If things stay on track, he expects the next phase development to begin in 2022 and Phase 14 to begin in 2023.

According to the agreement, once disposal begins in Phase 14, the rate per ton paid the town increases 3% annually until it reaches $5. After that, the rate increases 1% annually.

The Crossroads Landfill, owned by Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine, serves more than 50 communities in central and western Maine.

Compost produced at a future facility, to be developed at the site under an Organics Diversion and Composting Program, will be made available to town residents at no cost.

Other services that the landfill provides now include single-sort recycling, wood-waste recycling, beneficial tire reuse, waste evaluation, sustainability consulting and renewable landfill gas-to-energy plant operations.


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