*Please note: The Town will continue curbside collection of residents’ recycling, although the materials will temporarily be sent to the Bourne landfill until the Town secures another recycling service to accept the recyclable materials. The Town wants residents to continue to separate their recyclables from their trash and place them out on the curb as usual. This article has been edited for clarification.
Effective immediately, the recycling company for the Town of Marion has suspended its contract to accept recyclable materials with no immediate resume date in sight.
Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson told the Board of Selectmen on Friday morning during a special meeting that WeCare Environmental of Taunton informed him on Monday, May 7, that effective immediately, acceptance of the Town’s recyclables would cease as the facility relocates to Middleboro. Dawson said he was absent on Monday and received the notice on Tuesday, just 24 hours before the next scheduled curbside collection.
Dawson began the immediate process of finding an interim recycling service, but amid a nationwide recycling crisis due to China’s refusal to accept further recyclable materials from the Unites States, Dawson was unsuccessful in securing another recycling company.
ABC Disposal recently informed Mattapoisett, Rochester, and other area municipalities under contract with the company that it would begin charging a disposal fee for curbside recycling, and unless retroactive fees are collected, ABC would pull out of its contract with the individual towns.
According to ABC Disposal CEO Mike Camara, roughly 75% of what is tossed into the recycling cart is being dumped instead of sorted and sold off to China.
China’s National Sword policy bans 24 types of solid waste – certain plastics and unsorted mixed materials – until 95% of U.S. exported recyclable materials are uncontaminated.
“Everybody is now scrambling to find places to send their recyclable materials,” Dawson said. We’re having an extremely difficult time…. Any vendor willing to take our materials did it with caveats.”
These vendors, Dawson said, would each exclude specified materials, such as glass or cardboard, “And we do not have a facility to sort through the material and deliver to prospective places,” Dawson said.
In light of this, Dawson contacted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and requested a one-time waiver from recycling, a state mandate for municipalities, so the town could dispose of the recycling into a landfill.
“It’s a less-that-ideal scenario,” Dawson said.” We continue to wrestle with finding a vendor.”
Mass DEP did provide the Town with a list of prospective vendors, and in the meantime issued Marion a waiver for two weeks only.
“It’s an emergency provision,” Dawson said. “We had no other option than to do what we did.”
WeCare Environmental services 15 municipalities, and Dawson said he believes all were granted a temporary waiver from the DEP. WeCare Environmental told Dawson that curbside recycling in Marion would resume again after a number of months as the company is established at its new Middleboro site.
“We can expect an increase in cost, because the further out we go there’s a rise in transportation costs … and we’re at a point where we almost have to accept any reasonable offer for entities that will take the material,” Dawson said.
WeCare Environmental sold its current Taunton facility located on Mozzone Boulevard to a company transforming the facility for marijuana cultivation.
Also during the meeting, at the request of Police Chief John Garcia, selectmen appointed Jonathan Tracy as a one-year probationary full-time police officer and Adam Nawoichik as a part-time officer.
Tracy was a full-time officer in Lebanon, New Hampshire for 14 years, with experience as a K9 handler. Nawoichik was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and has been an on-call officer in Marion for five, also serving as dispatcher for a year.
Derek Malouin was approved as a seasonal employee (under 20 weeks employment) with the Harbormaster’s Office as harbormaster assistant and shellfish officer.
The board approved a contract with CDM Smith not to exceed $54,500 for the annual inflow and infiltration program. The contract includes design and construction for the replacement of over 1,000 feet of 8-inch sewer pipe, chemical root control treatments, testing and sealing of sewer connections, and manhole repairs at various locations including Delano Road, Front Street, and Joanne Drive.
In other matters, the board appointed Jonathan Henry as tree warden, a volunteer position until the 2019 Annual Election.
The employment contracts for Fire Chief Brian Jackvony and Lieutenant Richard Nighelli were approved and ratified.
A regular meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for June 5at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
Marion Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry