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Colton won’t let nonresidents use transfer station

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COLTON — The Town Council has voted not to allow use of its transfer station by nonresidents.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Darren Richards said he and Councilman Ronald Robert recently met with Casella Waste Services general manager Chester W. “Skip” Bisnett to discuss the possibility.

“Ron was interested in discussing opening the transfer station to non-Colton residents. Skip and I, in an offshoot conversation, discussed 2013, the contract that we’re currently in, and 2014 and then possibly doing an extension on that contract to 2015,” Mr. Richards said. “In doing so, he would renegotiate 2014 (with) the 2015 extension and encompass a lot of services for the town of Colton when it comes to being able to take more and negotiate (price for) metal scraps and things like that.”

“There are pros and cons with the transfer station when it comes to opening it up. With the county being as volatile when it comes to the way they are with the transfer station, it’s difficult for us to do some long-range planning, in my opinion,” Mr. Richards said. “Ron felt like there was more pros than cons when it comes to opening the transfer station to non-Colton residents. I thought that there was more cons than there were pros. ... It boils down to, you’ve got to make the decision whether you want to go into the business of being in the trash business and that’s for the board to decide, I guess.”

Mr. Robert pointed out the positives that would come from expanding the transfer station.

“We’ve talked quite a bit, and we met with (Chester),” he said. “There were some things that he mentioned like down the Russell Turnpike Road, let’s say there’s 10 houses down through there. Seven of them are going to the dump. Three are there, and it’s an issue of mileage. It’s very costly for them to do that. So it’s actually cheaper for them to come to Colton, a designated area like the transfer station, and pick that up there. It saves everybody money.”

The councilman added that he knows Pierrepont residents who are in the school district want to use the transfer station.

“I think this is going to take a team effort down the road. ... (We could do) a solution or a trial where we could see what would happen. And then when we propose this, we propose it in such a way that at the end of the six-month trial period if it isn’t working, throw it all out and forget it. If it works, it’s a benefit for everybody else,” Mr. Robert said.

Mr. Richards noted that since he began his tenure as DPW superintendent, manpower has been reduced by one or two positions, hauling has decreased considerably and the transfer station has become more efficient. He added that more improvements need to be made, and a bottle redemption effort is possible, where they can take in 8 cents per can and bottle, rather than the usual 5 cents.

“We’re trying to make the transfer station as efficient as we can and as low costing as we can for the town of Colton residents. That’s where I want to meet our need, is for the Colton residents,” he said.

“One of the things that is the hardest thing to do at the transfer station is number one, police it and keep it for Colton residents who are the tax base, and number two, monitoring the tonnage that’s brought in for outside users.”

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