Bowdoinham Council members at a recent Select Board meeting. Screenshot

Bowdoinham selectmen will soon decide the future of the town’s recycling barn based on the recommendations from the Solid Waste Committee.

“We will look at recommendations from the committee and decide if we should continue the recycling program at the current public works building or get necessary repairs and upgrades done at the former recycling barn and shift the operations there,” Town Manager Nicole Briand told selectmen Tuesday. “Pine Tree Engineering is also looking at site plans for a new building.”

Earlier this month at the annual town meeting, Bowdoinham voters rejected a measure to purchase the recycling barn for $175,000 and refurbish it.

Speaking to The Times Record, David Berry, the owner of the Bowdoinham recycling barn, said he is considering renovations to the facility, per the town board’s recommendation.

“I will ask the town officials to define the renovations and repair works they want me to carry out in the building,” Berry said. “I will fix the recommended repairs up to their standards and put a price to it, so the town can lease the building from me for 10 to 20 years and continue their operations.”

The town ran its solid waste and recycling program from the building for three decades before vacating the recycling barn last fall. The town moved the operation to the public works building after an engineering firm identified several structural issues and the state fire marshal’s office identified additional fire safety issues.

“Whatever comes next, my hope is to help the town return to a program it can be proud of,” Berry said. “For now, we plan to continue the free, volunteer-led source-separated recycling program and Friends of the Barn gift shop and library on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

“We are trying to demonstrate a different way to recycle and save the town money,” Berry added.

Selectmen said they are not willing to make a choice of going back to the barn until they have a detailed cost estimate for setting up a new facility or to carry out repair works at the barn.


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