2017-07-20 / Front Page

Trash bag prices go up in OOB

By Grant McPherson
Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – The town of Old Orchard Beach has not changed the price of its blue municipal trash bags since 2004, until now. Effective June 26 the cost for each 55-gallon trash bag increased from $1.50 to $2.50. Packages of four and boxes of 25 or 100 bags can be purchased at town hall.

Old Orchard Beach Finance Director Diana Asanza said the cost of disposing trash was exceeding what the town was charging for the bags. The town council discussed the price increase in workshops ahead of the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget adoption. Asanza said the town didn’t want to subsidize trash disposal.

“We made sure to take care of that as soon as we possibly could,” she said.

Asanza didn’t know if the town had seen a reduction or increase in waste but that the sale of bags has been consistent throughout the program. She said residents are not likely to see a tax rebate for the purchase of municipal trash bags, as has been proposed in other Maine communities, because the town does not require them for curbside pickup. The bags are available for people whose residential garbage won’t fit in a standard trash can. Residents are responsible for purchasing their own cans.

“A household with only one trash can of garbage a week doesn’t need to buy these trash bags,” she said.

Asanza said every home is allowed two 32-gallon bags or containers not to exceed 64 gallons total or 64 pounds in weight. The town has the authority to refuse collection based on failure to provide a suitable container.

The town has had problems with illegal dumping in the past but not because of the municipal trash bag program. Asanza said public works and police often deal with improperly placed refrigerators and furniture.

“You find it in any resort community with travelers here for short periods of time,” Asanza said.

Asanza said proceeds from bag sales are used to pay the cost of removing trash. Thetown has $410,000 budgeted for curbside pickup in fiscal year 2017-2018 and Pine Tree Waste charges $75.50 per ton of trash for disposal.

Assistant town manager V. Louise Reid said the program is working well. She said the trash bags are a good deal for residents and the town of Old Orchard Beach is not as strict as other communities. Reid has not received many complaints about the program since it began. She said the only time people have issues is when residential properties in winter become businesses in the summer. The town provides curbside trash pick up for residents year round, but not private businesses. She said business owners have multiple ways to dispose of trash.

“They can buy a dumpster, they can take their trash to the transfer station or hire a private curbside pickup service,” Reid said.

Any questions about trash pick up should be directed to V. Louise Reid at 207-934-5714, ext. 1526.

Contact Staff Writer Grant McPherson at news@inthecourier.com

FMI

The cost for a trash bags in Old Orchard Beach went from $1.50 to $2.50 per bag and are available at town hall.

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