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Perham Selectmen to Explore Opting Town out of Presque Isle’s “Pay as You Throw” Trash Removal Scheme


By: David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 26, 2012

PERHAM, Maine—Following the lead of Wade and Washburn, the Perham selectman have taken steps to inquire about the procedure to withdraw from Presque Isle landfill's pay as you throw program.

"Every time the townspeople voted, they voted to look for other options," said Jerry Dow, chair of the Perham selectmen. "This is just a simple letter that asks Presque Isle what we have to pay to get out.

Washburn has suggested Wade and Perham host a joint meeting between the three of them and hold public hearings on the proposed withdrawal from the failing program.

The Presque Isle landfill administration has been plagued by years of bad management and poor decision-making that has caused their cost to manage trash to be as much as three times the rate of neighboring Tri-Community Landfill shared by Fort Fairfield, Limestone and Caribou. The Pay as You Throw program was touted as a way of more equitably distributing the costs associated with using the landfill, but has turned into costing more than it's worth.

"The meeting we had a month ago they made the statement that we could get out of pay as you throw and only pay our debt service," said Dow. " So it would go from $25,000 a year that we pay now to $3,800 or $3,600 in that range and the people in town would take care of their own trash."

Perham's town office already has a supply of the pay as you throw bags to last at least until a decision by the selectmen is made regarding the the town's continuance with that program.

"This is not something that needs an attorney. We're not [looking into] withdrawing from the solid waste part of it, just the pay as you throw," said Dow.


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