Brownfield transfer site nabs most improved award

 

A HELPFUL HAND — Employees Richard Welch and Joe Vaughn toss household trash into the bin on a Wednesday in June. The Brownfield Transfer Station received the Most Improved Transfer Site Award from the Maine Resource Recovery Station recently. (De Busk Photo)

A HELPFUL HAND — Employees Richard Welch and Joe Vaughn toss household trash into the bin on a Wednesday in June. The Brownfield Transfer Station received the Most Improved Transfer Site Award from the Maine Resource Recovery Station recently. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

BROWNFIELD — For those people who remember the service provided at American gasoline stations in the 1930s through the early 1960s, the Brownfield Transfer Station is similar to that.

People drive up in their vehicles. The crew at the Brownfield Transfer Station greets them, and happily takes their bags of trash and recyclable items.

In the course of about a year, numerous upgrades have been made to the site.

“We made improvements for the safety of the town employees and the public,” Public Works Director Frank Day said.

“The biggest change is recycling,” he said. “We went to single-sort. It is easier for the public. It is easier for us,” Day said. “When we went to single-sort, the amount of recycling went up.”

Transfer site employee Richard Welch agreed.

“People are doing a good job of recycling; and they like it better,” Welch said.

Recently, the Brownfield Transfer Station was the recipient of the 2016 Most Improved Transfer Site Award by the nonprofit Maine Resource Recovery Association. The award was given during a ceremony in Rockland.

According to Brownfield Selectman Bill Flynn, the crew has worked really hard to turn around the transfer station and earn the award.

Before the transfer site introduced an easier way to recycle, it seems that most of the recyclable materials ended up in the household trash.

And, that was not a cost-effective habit for the town.

It costs $56 per ton to haul away household trash while it costs $15 per ton to get rid of recyclables, according to Day.

To help with the transition, “ecomaine came to town for the weekend to explain it to people. They had brochures to hand out,” Welch said.

PROUD OF AWARD — Brownfield Public Works Director Frank Day, Brownfield Selectman Bill Flynn, and transfer station employees Joe Vaughn and Richard Welch pose with the 2016 Most Improved Transfer Station Award. (De Busk Photo)

PROUD OF AWARD — Brownfield Public Works Director Frank Day, Brownfield Selectman Bill Flynn, and transfer station employees Joe Vaughn and Richard Welch pose with the 2016 Most Improved Transfer Station Award. (De Busk Photo)

The employees commented on residents’ attitude about the changes.

“They were happy — most of them,” Welch said.

Brownfield residents “came along over the weeks. A few opposed it at first. But, now they like it,” Transfer site employee Joe Vaughn said.

“People resist change,” Day said.

In addition to going to zero-sort or single-sort recycling, the other improvements included a safety gate around the bin for household trash and backfilling a steep incline that jeopardized drivers’ safety.

“We did some site work. The hill was too steep so we leveled it,” Day said.

“It changed. It didn’t happen overnight,” he said. “We had to set it up so recycling would work and there would be a better flow of traffic.”

The Town of Brownfield contracts with the trucking outfit North Conway Incinerator, which hauls away the trash when the bins get full, according to Day. The household trash goes to a landfill in Berlin, N.H.

The Brownfield Transfer Station is open for Brownfield residents only.

According to employees, the transfer station is a lot busier during the summer because the town has many summer residents and also serves area campgrounds.

Occasionally, there is a lull, which provides some time to enjoy the natural scenery surrounding the transfer site.

“The other day, we saw deer playing in the field,” Vaughn said.

“They put on a show,” Welch said.

“It was like they were playing tag,” Vaughn said.

Please follow and like us: