What landfill changes mean for residents

Dana H. Fowler, Special to The County
5 years ago

The Presque Isle Landfill and Tri-Community Landfill in Ft. Fairfield will be merging operations effective January 1, 2019.  Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Fairfield, and Limestone will all combine their solid waste infrastructure and be co-owners of a new entity that will be known as Aroostook Waste Solutions.  

The first question people want to know the answer to is: How is that going to affect me?  First, don’t forget that curbside collection using blue bags ends on Dec. 31.  If you set out blue bags with recyclables in 2019, they will be considered trash.  There will be no facility to sort them into the various categories of recyclables. You will be able to continue recycling cardboard at curbside with your waste hauler next year just as you do now.  Cardboard is defined as the dark brown material that has the corrugated wavy middle. Paperboard, aka boxboard, that includes cereal boxes and similar materials without the corrugated middle will not be recycled in 2019 and cannot be mixed with corrugated cardboard.

Within the next few weeks, we anticipate that the new igloos for drop-off recycling will be placed in Presque Isle.  There will be three sets of igloos set in the Star City, with additional sets placed in Mapleton and Washburn. The locations for igloos in Presque Isle will be City Hall, the Presque Isle Landfill, and the Court House off Chapman Street.

There are five igloos in a set plus a dumpster for cardboard.  The red igloo is for milk jugs. The blue igloo is for colored plastics with the number 2 code on the bottom of the container.  Newspaper and telephone books go in the yellow igloo. Magazines and catalogs are accepted in the green igloo and metal cans go in the gray igloo.  Please rinse all containers clean and flatten, if possible, so that they take up less space in the igloo.

What is going to change with my trash disposal?  Everybody wants to know the answer to that question.  The answer is “nothing,” if you have curbside collection with a waste hauler.  If your waste hauler is Gil’s Sanitation or Star City Sanitation, everything will remain the same as it is now, including the price, whether you live in Presque Isle or another community.

If you haul your own trash to the Presque Isle Landfill, a $200 permit is required for Presque Isle residents.  Permits may be purchased at City Hall and your vehicle registration is required to prove residency. Additional permits for the same household with the same address will cost $20 each.  No additional fee is required for refuse (garbage or trash) at the landfill, but there are additional fees for tires, wood, demolition debris, and some large appliances.

Residents from communities other than Presque Isle that use the Presque Isle Landfill must purchase a $225 decal and pay additional fees for refuse.  These fees will be $10 for a car load, $20 for a pickup load, or $88.50 per ton based on net weight, if the customer has more than 10 bags.

Businesses will need a $200 permit and pay additional fees for refuse disposal.  Presque Isle businesses will pay $82.50 per ton and businesses from towns outside Presque Isle will pay $88.50 per ton.  Residents and businesses from Presque Isle, Mapleton, Chapman, and Castle Hill must use the Presque Isle Landfill and will not be granted access to the Tri-Community Landfill.

We will have additional details for you in future columns.  If you have any questions about refuse disposal or recycling, please contact the Solid Waste Division at 760-2712 or email us at dfowler@presqueisleme.us.

Dana H. Fowler, P.E., is public services director for the city of Presque Isle. He can be reached at 760-2707 or via email at dfowler@presqueisleme.us.