Trash district works to smooth out kinks after closing compost piles

Apr 26, 2018

The decision to shut down the compost and brush collection area of the transfer station in Marion has proven to be an unpopular one, members of the Carver, Marion, Wareham Regional Refuse District said on April 25.

The transfer station is run by the district. Committee members decided to close down the swap shop and the compost/brush collection areas in March due to a lack of management.

This, however, has created new problems.

“The [Marion Department of Public Works] has been inundated with calls,” board member Rob Zora said.

Zora said that people are showing up unaware that they’re unable to drop brush off, and are getting upset when they’re told they can’t do it.

“People are angry,” he said. “They paid for their [dump] stickers.”

Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson added that the calls the DPW has been receiving have not been particularly kind.

“You can’t believe some of the things people are saying,” he said. “People have been pulling into the DPW office and they start yelling. It’s up to us to do a better job informing our residents.”

The closure has also caused trouble for County Road Recycling in West Wareham. Owner Victor Brier said he has been working with the district for the past 20 years. People who have been turned away at the transfer stations are often recommended to try County Road Recycling to get rid of their brush.

Upon arrival, however, they’re often surprised and angry that they have to pay.

“They’re coming in there with stickers saying this is where they’re told to dump, and they expect they can dump for free,” Brier said.

Board members and the town administrators said that they would try to do a better job getting the word out about options for people to dump their brush, and how much it would cost.

“We’ve been dealt a s**t show. Pardon my French, but we’re bankrupt,” Carver Town Administrator Mike Malinoski said. “We’ve had to make tough decisions. We’re collectively trying to solve a problem that none of us individually have caused.”

Brier also took issue with the fact that he had been left out of recent discussions regarding the trash district and the closing of transfer stations.

“I’m really upset about one thing,” he said. “I’ve been running the yard for the tri-town for quite some time, and I seem to have been left out of the loop here…towns have been using my business for 20 years.”

After Hurricane Bob in 1991, Brier said he helped out then-Marion DPW Superintendent Zora with cleanup in town. Then, after speaking with then-Town Administrator Ray Pickles, Brier said he decided to get the equipment and permits to set up County Road Recycling.

Since then, he said he has helped the towns in the district out by taking brush for free when the towns went over their cost limits.

However, committee members noted that there was no contract between Brier and the refuse district.

“I don’t doubt it, but obviously it was a handshake back in the day,” committee chair Steve Cushing said.

Committee members insisted that they did not intend to hide anything from Brier, they just didn’t know he was involved.

Additionally, they said that as they try to get the refuse district back on track, County Road Recycling will now have to bid on projects for the town the same as anyone else.