Yarmouth Town Council member Tim Shannon cuts the ribbon at Yarmouth Transfer Station on Sunday. Contributed / Yarmouth Municipal Television

After planning for nearly seven years, Yarmouth Transfer Station opened a new building on Sunday that will help the community become more responsible in its recycling.

The building, located at the back of the transfer station, will provide all of the same services as the previous building, including recycling capabilities. However, it will provide an easier and more effective approach to the process.

Two outside trash compactors are a new feature of the transfer station. The original compactor was failing and relied on silver containers known as “silver bullets” for residents to empty recycling. The silver bullets were inconvenient to use, said Erik Street, director of public works in Yarmouth, especially for seniors and those with mobility issues.

“With this new design, folks will bring their recycling into the building and dump it on tables,” Street said. “That’ll give staff a chance to check one more time to make sure that recycling is correct before it gets pushed into a new compactor.”

The project also boasts an updated traffic pattern. Town Councilor Tim Shannon said the town could have reused the existing traffic circle, but it was clunky, cumbersome and bordering on dangerous. Instead, the council decided that the transfer station would be better suited at the back of the property. This meant building a new facility.

“It added some expense but brought with it better operations, better controls, safer operations and a better visiting experience,” Shannon said.


Shannon, who has been on the council for six years, said the council has been working on the transfer station project in tandem with Pay As You Throw for almost seven years. The project has seen several council member turnovers, but each new council remained dedicated to accomplishing a new transfer station configuration.

“It’s rare that you see a project (stretch) over so many years, this complicated, and sustain this level of support,” Shannon said. “I think we’re actually pretty proud of that.”

Pay As You Throw, a program that requires residents who use curbside trash collection to purchase specific town trash bags, began in Yarmouth on Jan. 2.

In order to pay for the $1.7 million transfer station updates, the town used a lease purchase program. The revenue generated from the town trash bags utilized through Pay As You Throw will be dedicated to paying back the lease purchase.

“That’ll fund the new transfer buildings to get those up and going,” Street said.

Pay As You Throw has other incentives such as encouraging recycling, reducing costs and carbon footprints, as well as offsetting disposal and hauling costs. It also makes people more aware of their solid waste stream.

“It’s almost a collaborative process where we as a town are redirecting things that would ordinarily go in the trash and diverting them to better uses and better recycling,” Shannon said. “We still buy and use too much stuff overall, but I think Yarmouth does a very good job of sorting and directing as much of it as possible.”

The new Yarmouth Transfer Station building is now available for public use and transfer station stickers are available for purchase at Yarmouth Town Hall.

Comments are not available on this story.