A town committee is recommending redesigning the Cape Elizabeth transfer station, where a former public works director was fatally injured last year.

The proposed design includes new outdoor stationary compactors for trash and recycling that cars can pull up beside.

Drivers previously had to back up to the trash compactor. That’s what Christine Sharp-Lopez, 72, was doing Nov. 24 when her vehicle struck Herbert Dennison, 79, who fell into the compactor and died.

The town had already identified safety concerns at the 37-year-old facility, but the incident accelerated the process of addressing them.

A five-member Solid Waste and Recycling Long Range Planning Committee was formed in December, and in January the town implemented a temporary measure to improve safety at the transfer station by requiring people to park their cars and carry their trash to the compactor, rather than back up to it.

That, however, decreased efficiency and caused difficulties for the town’s growing elderly population.

The committee says its recommended redesign would make the transfer station safer, more accessible and more efficient than ever.

Cars would pull into one of five lanes – four for dropping off recycling and trash at the new compactors and the other a bypass to the swap shop and bottle shed.

Drivers in the drop-off lanes would first come upon one of the two new recycling compactors, which would be lower to the ground than the so-called silver bullets currently used. Farther down the lanes there would be three new trash compactors.

The building that now houses the trash compactor would be used for electronic and universal waste, as well as offices, electrical panels and the town’s radio communications system.

The estimated cost of the improvements would be $1.3 million with an annual operating budget of about $590,000, including capital payments. The refuse and recycling budget for the current year is about $487,000.

The committee also considered leaving the design of the transfer station as is, and only making necessary repairs to the compactor and building. That would cost about $575,000 annually.

Implementing a curbside trash and recycling program, which doesn’t have much support according to a town survey, would cost about $775,000.

The redesigned transfer station would serve the needs of the town for the next 25 to 30 years, according to the committee’s report, which is scheduled to be presented to the Town Council on Monday night.