Hampton signs recycling deal with ecomaine

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New firm is contracted with the town until 2015

By Nick B. Reid

Hampton Union , March 29, 2013

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON — The Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed Monday to contract with Portland, Maine-based waste management company ecomaine to handle the town's recycling through July 2015.

The board followed the recommendation of Director of Public Works Keith Noyes, who explored the town's options for the future and toured the facilities of the companies bidding to take the town's recycling. Noyes said the town has been bringing recycling to a facility in Charlestown, Mass., owned by Casella Recycling Services, which also bid against ecomaine.

The term of the contract is designed to expire in summer of 2015 because that's when the town's contract with Waste Management is set to expire, allowing the town to reassess its options for both recycling and waste simultaneously and potentially enter into a beneficial situation in which both are handled by a single company.

Ecomaine General Manager Kevin Roche said in his presentation to the Board of Selectmen in February that ecomaine would like to take the town's trash, as well as recycling, when possible.

Noyes outlined a number of factors on which his recommendation was based. He said ecomaine offers a competitive pricing plan and made a concession that helped its offer come in line with that of Casella. Ecomaine agreed in recent negotiations, Noyes said, to ensure a zero floor price, meaning the town will never have to pay to have its recyclables taken, even during times the recycling stream's value is low enough that the town should have to pay.

Noyes also cited the quasi-municipal nature of the company — it's owned by 21 municipalities in southern Maine — and that ecomaine is also capable and willing to accept the town's trash as other benefits. He said ecomaine has "cutting edge technology" at its facility, which includes a waste-to-energy plant and a landfill/ashfill site, and offered to help orchestrate tours of the facility for selectmen and any interested parties.

Though ecomaine's fee per load of recycling is higher than Casella's, Selectman Dick Nichols said it's "virtually a break-even when you factor in transportation costs," considering the increased traffic associated with traversing the Greater Boston area.

Noyes said ecomaine may begin taking the town's recycling as soon as next month. Ecomaine already handles the recycling services in Newington and Greenland.

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