Marion considers two options for leaving regional waste district

Nov 7, 2019

MARION — At an Oct. 21 Special Town Meeting, Marion voters authorized Town Administrator James McGrail to begin negotiations to leave the Carver Marion Wareham Regional Refuse District. Since then, McGrail said that the town has started exploring two possible options on how to exit the district.

October’s vote allowed negotiations to begin, but Town Meeting will need to vote again to approve the final agreement.

The district was formed more than 40 years ago to allow the three member towns to dispose of waste, free of charge, at the Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility in Rochester, commonly referred to as “SEMASS.”

The first option being considered by McGrail is negotiating a withdrawal in time for approval at the Town Meeting in May 2020 for a June 2020 exit.

Because Carver is also considering leaving the district, the committee governing the district is also looking into dissolving the district and ceasing operations at the end of 2020. In this case, the towns would need to continue to collaborate on a limited basis to manage ongoing liabilities, like pensions, worker’s compensation, and insurance coverage for the soon-to-be-closed Carver landfill.

“[The district] has formed a task force to develop a plan for what winding down the district might look like,” McGrail said. “Once the three member towns review the plan, each town then can make an informed decision as to whether they want to vote to terminate the operations of [the district] at the end of 2020.”

Regardless of whether Carver and Wareham stay in the district, the district will no longer operate the Benson Brook Transfer Station in Marion after 2020.

The Town of Marion is currently studying what permitting would be required and how much it would cost for Marion to operate the transfer station several days per week.

Each member town will set their own sticker prices for the use of the district’s transfer stations in Marion and Rochester for the coming calendar year. 

Marion is currently evaluating the appropriate charge for stickers for waste disposal in 2020, and more information will be discussed at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19.