Local transfer station recognized for recycling efforts – By Beth A. Birmingham – Rockland – Camden – Knox – Courier-Gazette


By Beth A. Birmingham | Jan 18, 2019

Thomaston — The staff at the Owls Head-South Thomaston-Thomaston Cooperative Transfer Station was recognized Jan. 17 by ecomaine for their recycling efforts.

Tracking of loads delivered to ecomaine in Portland from the tri-town processing facility in Thomaston was referred to as “excellent,” “exceptional,” and “very clean” by Lissa Bittermann, business development manager of ecomaine.

The single-stream recycling includes corrugated cardboard, mixed paper, glass, metal, and 1-7 plastic containers — five percent or less per load by volume of contaminants is considered a good load, Bittermann explained.

“These guys are coming in pretty much between zero and 1 percent,” she said, “It’s some of the cleanest material we receive down at ecomaine.”

Bittermann said she wanted to be certain that the users of the transfer station were made aware of the success of the program, and that transfer station staff and residents who are doing such a great job know that their effort to keep the recycling so clean is appreciated.

The effort will also help control annual disposal fees for taxpayers of the three towns.

“Thank you all for everything you do to drive down the contamination in these recoverable materials, and continue them on into their lifespan and be made into new things instead of going into any of Maine’s landfills,” Bittermann said.

She noted it is a difficult task to sort through the items that come into the transfer station, and said it is very commendable what tthe staff and residents have been able to accomplish.

Bruce Colson, a resident of Owls Head and chair of the cooperative board, said it was important to give credit to Facility Manager Reggie Vokes and his team — John Jacques, David MacNeill and Rick Fales — for helping users of the transfer station correctly dispose of their trash and recyclables in an effort to achieve solid waste disposal goals.

Vokes said the efforts have been assisted by the great relationship they have with Thomaston Recycling.

Colson thanked Thomaston Recycling as well for “the outstanding work they give under their contract. That company goes far above and beyond their contract.”

Bittermann presented the workers with certificates of appreciation and a care package of recycled goodies. Also on hand were Selectmen Cheryl Waterman and Walter Reitz of South Thomaston, Gordon Page of Owls Head, and Beverly St. Clair of Thomaston.

Page noted that their efforts should improve even further with Rockland’s ban of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers.

Reitz said the level of positive response from the public has been overwhelming.

Since April of last year, the transfer station has shipped 106 tons of recyclable material to ecomaine, not including municipal solid waste, which averages about 3,400 tons per year.

For a complete list of recyclable materials, visit ecomaine.org and download the free Recyclopedia webinar.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

On hand to recognize the efforts of the three-town cooperative transfer station Jan. 17 are, from left, selectmen Walter Reitz of South Thomaston, Beverly St. Clair of Thomaston, Gordon Page of Owls Head, and Cheryl Waterman of South Thomaston.
(Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)

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