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New Disposal Contract Adopted

CUMBERLAND – Over the next month, Cumberland County will be phasing in new containers and equipment at each of the transfer stations in the county as part of a new disposal and recycling contract secured with van der Linde Recycling.

“We want people to know that we still want to encourage separation but that they're pretty much handling sorting,” explained Assistant County Administration Jill Matthews to The Herald about the recycling process that van der Linde Recycling goes through at its facility in Zion Crossroads.

“It was really interesting to see their operation there-it's impressing, I've got to say,” noted Ms. Matthews about how the recycling company goes through the garbage and takes out any material that can be reused in some form.

Once at the facility, every possible recyclable item out of household garbage is pulled out such as glass like light bulbs; plastics such as bottles and containers and packaging; aluminum and metal from pans and cans; chipboard like what can be found in cereal and food boxes and containers; cardboard; paper like newspaper, office paper and from books; styrofoam from containers and packaging materials; and finally paints from dried cans.

“Because of all the equipment involved and being service oriented, as far as our citizens go, it's going to be a gradual changeover because we don't want to see any disruption in that service to the citizens so it's going to be a gradual changeover that's going to take place over the next month to month and a half,” noted Ms. Matthews about the process that is underway at Cumberland's transfer stations.

The County's current contractor, Arena Trucking, is being cooperative in phasing out their equipment and assisting with the changeover, said Ms. Matthews.

“There will be some new electrical services and all new compactors and all new containers-the whole works,” she continued about the new process that will be conducted in stages.

According to Ms. Matthews, the County is going to work on one transfer station at a time on the “closed” days but the top priority is to make sure citizens always have access to the facilities.

“Because we have so many containers, they are going to make every effort to save change outs of the open top receiving containers to a day different than the compactors,” she explained about the process of switching bins and containers. “So that, regardless, there will always be somewhere for citizens to dispose of their refuse during the transition.”

The Board of Supervisors approved this new trash disposal and recycling service contract during a work session on February 17.

“I think it's going to be a good thing,” said Ms. Matthews.

The County's Recycling Committee, which is made up of active citizens who are working to expand Cumberland's recycling ability, knowledge, and program was also involved in this process.

“I think this will be a huge step in that direction,” she added.

The new contract also offers a cost-savings to the County.

“This new contract is a flat-rate contract,” she described. “We will have a flat monthly bill regardless of the tonnage disposed of or the number of hauls. We do have a few things that are separate, like the hauls on our tire disposal. But the general refuse-that will be the same price regardless of our tonnage and our tonnage is steadily increasing. It…locks it in at a rate that is slightly below what we are paying now and given the fact that we are seeing a steady increase in the tonnage…it's a wonderful cost control measure and it certainly makes it easier from a budgetary standpoint and…it's a huge step in increasing and expanding the recycling in the county.”

“I think it will be a good thing for the citizens,” concluded Ms. Matthews.