January 30

End of Sandy River Recycling Association leaves Franklin County towns looking for new options

The nonprofit company brought recycling to the county 23 years ago, but increased competition and loss of its biggest member, Farmington, has hurt business.

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

CLOSING: A Sandy River Recycling center worker backs a truck into the center building in Farmington Thursday. The association that runs the recycling center is selling its assets and will close by June 30.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

PACKING: Workers use machinery to pile paper inside the Sandy River Recycling Center in Farmington on Thursday. The center will close by June 30.

Staff photo by David Leaming

If all towns find alternatives before June 30, then the association might shut down early.

“They are going to try to take care of the towns that need them, and encouraged towns to move out whenever they are able,” Couture said. “They were very, very concerned that they didn’t leave a town hanging.”

Strong Selectman Jim Burill said the town already has private contractors that pick up recycling and bring it to the association transfer station, and the town will have to decide how it wants to replace the association’s services.

Josephson said so far Mercer and Carrabassett Valley officials are talking about using Waste Management, Rangeley is interviewing different possible contractors and Chesterville sent the association a note saying it no longer needs their services.

She said recycling was brought to the area when it began in 1990 in response to legislation promoting recycling. At the time, a community organization, rather than a for-profit business, was needed to bring it to the county.

“Recycling wasn’t a sexy business at the beginning,” Josephson said, “but then it began to grow and snowball and the private sector came in and said, ‘Hey, maybe we can make some money off of this.’”

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

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