Media Archive

Brownville may stop large item pickup

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 25, June 19, 2002

By Sarah MacIlroy
Staff Writer

BROWNVILLE Because of the overcrowding problem caused with Penquis Solid Waste, the town's transfer site, large item pick-up may be a thing of the past for residents of Brownville.

At a selectmen's meeting on May 23, town officials debated the pros and cons of seeking other options for residents who need to dispose of large items.

Brownville is one of the few communities who still sponsor a large-item pickup day, and although it is a convenience for community members, it causes a space problem at Penquis Solid Waste, the area transfer site in Milo which serves LakeView Plantation and several unorganized territories in addition to the communities of Milo and Brownville.

"It is not an issue of us not wanting to service every community in every way possible," said Milo Town Manager Jane Jones in an interview last week. "This issue is that the actual storing and handling pad at the site is very, very small."

Although the facility occupies about 100 acres of land, the majority of the space by law must act as a buffer zone for the transfer site, leaving only about an 80 by 100 foot "pad" on which to handle incoming waste.

Parts of the space at the transfer site are designated for certain types of trash, like metals, wood, waste oil, etc., leaving a small working space when large items like refrigerators and couches come in.

Jones said that in order to better manage the flow of large items, Milo decided to offer residents spring clean-up weeks with extended hours at the transfer site where residents could bring their own items in, which spreads the flow of material out over a period of time, according to Jones.

However, some selectmen at the recent meeting in Brownville seemed in favor of exploring other options that would allow the town to retain its luxury of having the large items picked up at the homes.

Concerns were voiced about the possibility of increased costs from Penquis Solid Waste if the pick-up continued while others expressed regret that the service could be discontinued, saying that if it was ceased, the town could see an increased amount of items abandoned in the surrounding area rather than taken to the transfer site.

If the town chose to use another facility to continue the service, one of the closest sites would be Sawyer's Environmental Service, a business near Bangor that charges about $115 a ton for disposal, said Town Manager Sophie Wilson. Another part of that problem is the town would have to devise means for weighing the items for transport to Sawyer's.

Brownville's approach to the issuewill be discussed at a special town meeting tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. at the town office.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.