The 5,000 tons of trash at Plan-It Recycling & Transfer Inc. could be removed this winter under a plan negotiated by the parties dealing with the shuttered facility in Gorham.

The proposed solution calls for R.J. Grondin and Sons, a Gorham construction company, to buy out the $1 million mortgage on the Plan-It property held by Bank of America and the Small Business Administration for $175,000.

The construction company, which owns property by the Plan-It site, will bear the cost of hauling the trash to a closed town landfill, which will be reopened, filled and closed again.

The concept needs approval from the Gorham Town Council, which is scheduled to consider the issue Oct. 18. The part of the plan involving the closed landfill will require the approval of the Gorham Planning Board and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“The town of Gorham is cautiously optimistic at this point that this is going to be an appropriate cleanup at no cost to the citizens and taxpayers of Gorham,” Town Attorney William Dale said.

The trash — primarily construction and demolition debris — has been sitting at the 5-acre site at Route 25 and the Gorham Industrial Parkway since January. A Cumberland County Superior Court justice shut down the facility in January, after it violated an earlier court order that barred it from taking in more trash than it was hauling away.

The DEP considers the trash a fire hazard and also has concerns about odors and liquid run-off produced during decomposition. The waste presents the risk of serious environmental degradation but is not bad enough to qualify for state or federal funding for hazardous waste cleanup, Dale said.

The trash will go into the town’s closed construction and demolition debris landfill behind the Public Works garage on Huston Road.

If needed, Grondin would add a layer of clay before the first hard frost. The company could move the debris over the winter.

Dale said the move is not expected to cause any trouble with the wells of nearby residents, but that Grondin has promised to pay to put them on public water if problems arise.

The lawyer for Roland Smalley Jr., owner of Plan-It, has said that he has been unable to clean up the site because of financial problems. Plan-It opened the site in 2004.

In the summer of 2010, the town filed a complaint against Plan-It, its property owner, CLRS Properties LLC, and Smalley, who owns both entities, for being a public nuisance and running afoul of town and state environmental approvals. The DEP filed its own suit, which was consolidated with the town’s. The parties are now working toward a settlement agreement that would need court approval.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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