Bowdoinham officials are considering how best to operate the town’s recycling program.

Town Manager Nicole Briand said they are working to develop two possible plans for a future home for recycling and solid waste.

One option is to operate the recycling program at the existing recycling barn on Post Road, which will require additional upgrades to the facility to ensure its safety over time. The other option is to develop a new facility adjacent to the public works building, where the town is currently operating the program.

The Bowdoinham Recycling Barn has housed the town’s recycling program for three decades. The Times Record

The town is looking to hire a consultant to design the recycling facility at the former recycling barn. However, a decision has not been made if the town would lease a portion of the recycling barn for its operations or purchase the property.

The town’s goal is to have a recycling program and facility that is safe, secure and meet safety, building code and operational requirements and be responsive to the recycling markets.

The recycling program would be a hybrid program that would accept single-stream and source-separated materials depending on the current markets. The facility would have a 1,000-square-foot swap shop for residents and serve as a transfer station defined by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

“A decision has not been made regarding the recycling barn at this time,” Town Manager Nicole Briand said. “The town is looking to hire a design consultant to determine what needs to be done at the barn for the town’s operation and the costs of that work.”

In June, select board members said they were not willing to make a choice of going back to the barn until they had a detailed cost estimate for setting up a new facility or to carry out repair works at the barn.

“The select board intends to present both plans to voters once the costs and details of each are determined,” Briand said. “Our goal is to have this information for consideration at the town meeting in June 2022.”

A report submitted by the Solid Works Committee last year suggested that the residents largely wanted what they used to have when the program was housed at the recycling barn, Bowdoinham State Representative Seth Berry wrote in an email.

“Some improvements recommended by the engineers have been made at the barn, and the other improvements will require further discussion with the town,” said Berry. “A new cement pad is being put down in the East-end of the building where the loading dock for tractor-trailer trucks is present, and all portions of South wall have been reinforced.”

The town operated its solid waste and recycling program for over 30 years at the barn before it moved its operations to the public works site in 2020 after an engineering firm identified safety and structural concerns.

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