SPENCER – The town may begin sharing its transfer station with a neighboring community
and Selectmen said if things work out, they could offer the service to more than just one other town in the future.
The board was approached by Charlton officials who are seeking a new place to dispose of trash since Casella Waste Systems announced that its facility at 100 Leicester St., Oxford, will become a commercial enterprise with fees for disposal.
A discussion held earlier this month left Spencer Selectmen looking for more information but at their meeting on Monday, one board member said he believes the idea is “great”
Selectman Ralph Hicks suggested the town needs to bring in more money and the sharing of the transfer station would be a “good opportunity for Spencer.”
Utilities and Facilities Director Peter Boria said a representative from the state Department of Environmental Protection told him there might be additional grant opportunities for a regional transfer station versus one that serves a single community.
There are currently just two towns in Central Mass. that share a transfer station so Spencer would be a pioneer in regional transfer station operation if officials decided to move forward.
It’s estimated that about 200 customers in Charlton might use the transfer station, though the number could change if some decided to hire private trash haulers instead of bringing their waste to Spencer.
As the process moves forward, Selectmen will have to decide how they’ll charge for outside use of the facility. They could have a more expensive vehicle sticker price for Charlton residents or they could bill the town of Charlton a set amount annually. Anyone using the transfer station must purchase special green trash bags to bring refuse to the facility, board members explained.
The board may also revisit, as a separate matter, whether they’ll allow private haulers from Spencer to bring items to the transfer station, something not currently allowed.
Hicks said there’s currently one hauler using the transfer station and he wants to be sure the trash comes from Spencer and the town is being adequately compensated.
Town Administrator Jeff Bridges said the board could discuss commercial haulers though Gary Woodbury said he would be opposed to such a move because the town would have no way to weigh the trucks going in and out to determine how to charge them.
Board members will bring the issue of sharing the transfer station to the table at an upcoming meeting, they said.