Marion gets first bill in five years for trash disposal

By Georgia Sparling | Mar 17, 2017

Marion — It's time to talk trash in Marion. For the first time since 2012, Marion will be billed $25,309 for garbage disposal from the Carver/Marion/Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District.

Created in the 1970s, the district's income, which includes funds from trash collected at its Carver landfill, has offset costs to the three towns, but the district's executive director, Ray Pickles said, “Those revenues dropped sharply.”

In January, the refuse district’s commissioners approved a $554,900, or 6.1 percent, budget increase, according to Pickles. After income and reimbursements, the three towns owe $173,000 for the coming fiscal year.

The cause for the fall in revenue, said Pickles, is that SEMASS is sending more of its ash to other landfills as opposed to the CMW landfill.

SEMASS, located in Rochester, is a “shred and burn” facility that creates energy by incinerating solid waste. According to Pickles, the resulting ash has been in demand as cover material for landfills that are being “capped and closed.” It doesn’t look like that will change.

Pickles said, “The trend is going to continue until the [CMW] landfill closes, December 21, 2020.”

Once the CMW landfill is at capacity and shuts down, Marion’s waste disposal fees will likely jump by several hundred thousand dollars as the trash has to be sent farther away, if Pickles' assumptions are correct.

“There will be no local landfills,” said Pickles.

He estimated that Marion’s trash disposal will cost under $400,000, with Carver and Wareham at $500,000 and up.

Marion Selectmen Chair Jody Dickerson said his board is aware of the bill from CMW and the need to work on a new solution for the town's garbage.

He said they don't know how much it will cost yet, but “we’ve already started looking into what our options are, and we’re in the early stages right now.”

Specifically, Selectmen are looking at privatizing trash pickup, which is currently done by the Department of Public Works. If the town goes that route, a private company would be responsible for pickup and disposal of the town's trash.

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