GOULDSBORO — Gouldsboro will be suspending its recycling program beginning Sept. 1, following a vote by the Board of Selectmen last week.
Town Manager Sherri Cox cited rising costs as the primary reason for the decision.
“Last fall the price was $40 per ton,” Cox said. “It’s now up to $140 per ton and is expected to reach $200 per ton this summer.”
Beginning Sept. 1, all solid waste will be collected on Thursdays and transported directly to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.
The arrangement does not have a contract but the price will be set at $75 per ton.
Cox also stated that trash tags would be reduced from $1.50 per tag to $1.25. PERC burns solid waste products and converts that to energy.
Gouldsboro had previously used Casella Waste to handle recycling, but prices have increased sharply across the industry this year. China, which had been the largest global importer of scrap and recyclables from North America, instituted a ban on 24 categories of these products in January this year.
China also implemented a 0.5 percent contamination standard on these imports. A June 2018 report from the Solid Waste Association of North America stated that this had significantly disrupted the international movement of scrap and recyclables, and that rising costs were a result of this disruption in the market.
At last week’s selectmen’s meeting, many residents in attendance still expressed support for the concept of recycling in general. With that in mind, Cox stated that the change was due to the untenable cost, and that once new markets opened up, the recycling program could likely start up again.