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Plans for future waste disposal not solid yet

SALISBURY — At the regular monthly meeting Wednesday, April 21, the Salisbury-Sharon Transfer Station Recycling Advisory Committee got a look at a draft of a comprehensive timeline of events that will result in the opening of a new transfer station in 2018.

Committee member Bob Palmer of Salisbury took the lead in explaining the “Salisbury/Sharon Integrated Solid Waste Management Program Master Plan 2010,” a colorful, three-page spreadsheet-style document.

There are four major sections. The first deals with the current transfer station; the second is titled “Management Entity Structure Change,” and includes the assumption of duties and responsibilities by the newly formed Salisbury-Sharon Recycling Recovery Authority; the third, “Program Performance and Goals,” concerns recycling rates and goals for the future; and the last, “Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Materials Contracts” raises the overriding question of what  the two towns want to do with the contract with the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority when it expires in 2012.

Palmer went through the document line by line, tossing out ideas for future discussion and emphasizing the draft nature of the plan.

But he was clear about one thing: the need for a consulting engineer to look the plan over.

The first items on the timeline — establishing criteria for a new transfer station site, then selecting the site — were successfully completed because an engineer was brought in, he said.

Palmer floated the idea of a request for proposals from engineering or consulting firms to assess the plan itself, or specific aspects of the plan, such as options for disposal other than CRRA or the plan put out by the Capital Region Council of Governments.

At this point there are far more questions than answers among TRAC members and first selectmen Curtis Rand of Salisbury and Bob Loucks of Sharon.

Rand was clear on two points. He doesn’t think it necessary to appoint a building committee until a decision is reached on renewing with CRRA, which could be as early as June.

And he expressed his irritation with the Capital Region Council of Governments proposal for at least 40 towns, mostly in the central part of the state, breaking away from CRRA and setting up their own waste disposal authority.  “So far they haven’t produced a single thing for what we can do.”

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