What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 22 hours ago
More in News
Norway, Paris commission $20,000 recycling study
PARIS — On February 24, the Town Managers of Norway and Paris, in conjunction with Oxford County Regional Recycling (OCRR), officially commissioned a $20,000 study to look into making solid waste disposal and recycling more efficient for the two towns.
According to Phil Tarr of Paris, 11 consulting firms were invited to submit bids. Three were received, and the towns ultimately settled on DSM Environmental of Windsor, VT.
According to its website, the firm was founded in 1988 and, in the time since, "has developed a national and international reputation for data-driven analyses."
DSM offers several services, including analysis of potential changes to recycling and recovery programs for cities and towns, environmental site assessment for businesses and land conservation groups, and helping businesses and communities reduce their environmental impact. It has worked on projects as far away as China and Argentina, and as close to home as Bangor and Orono.
Norway-Paris Solid Waste will be interested in the first service, as it looks to refine its solid waste and recycling operations in an effort to provide the towns with a more efficient, less expensive service.
"[The study] will address if there's anything to do with solid waste to cut costs," explained Tarr. "The question surrounding solid waste is so big that it really takes someone with the focus and the knowledge of all the solid waste and recycling issues to say 'here's what we have here, and here's what it would cost to change.'"
According to Tarr, a possible change that will be looked at closely is a move to single-stream, or zero-sort, recycling.
"Recycling today, wherever possible, seems to be focusing on single stream or zero sort, where you put all of your recyclables into one container and transport it to a sorting facility," he explains. "The opposite of that is what we're doing now, where people bring it already sorted, and we [OCRR] sell it for a profit."
Currently, OCRR, a consortium of 18 different towns including Norway and Paris, picks up the already-sorted recycling, transports it, and sells it. Single-stream would, instead, allow for citizens to put all of their recyclables into a single container. The unsorted recyclables would be taken to a single, large facility, that would independently sort and sell them.
Natalie Starr is a consultant from DSM who will be one of the experts heading up the study. She reported that DSM will be evaluating current recycling and waste disposal processes in Norway and Paris and using data from across the country to evaluate its efficiency. It will then examine the possible effects of instituting alternative practices.
"We would look at how much they're recycling now, and what it costs now, then how much recycling would there be if they made a change and what would the additional costs be," she said. "We'll look at how they handle materials, what the costs are and what the costs are to collect, process and market the material. We'll compare it against alternatives, and ask; are there opportunities for efficiencies?"
Oxford County's small population could complicate any switch to single-stream, however, as sorting the recyclables at the processing facility is a long, expensive process. As such, it requires a large stream of recyclable materials to be viable. Portland houses the only such facility in Maine.
Starr pointed to Chittenden County in Vermont as a similarly rural area that DSM has worked with on single-stream recycling. Their processing facility is located in Burlington, a city slightly smaller than Portland, but services rural areas throughout the county.
"One example of a single stream facility is Chittenden County, VT, around Burlington, where its more rural districts have sent material there to their MRF [material recycling facility]," she said.
According to Tarr, the prospect of switching to single-stream is something that Norway and Paris, along with OCRR have been considering for about a year. However, steps to be taken will be contingent on the results of the study.
"We're looking for answers to several questions and then, based upon what we get, we'll decide on whether we should pursue any of these ideas."