KM - Fort Kent is spending more than a quarter million dollars annually for trash disposal. Town Councilor Joey Ouellette says there are ways to reduce that expense, beginning with improved recycling efforts.
JO - Our trash right now is costing us about $340,000 a year, on average, over the past five years. So what I did is I contacted - or I sat with our Council and discussed with them the possibility of forming a committee to look at different recycling programs other towns have utilized to save money on their trash removal and ultimately reduce their trash to the landfill.
KM - He says there are a few reasons folks aren't using the recycle igloos that are set up in town.
JO - If you're elderly, for instance, you may not be able to - you may not have the capacity to bring your trash to the igloos. That's one. Weather's another one; if it's really stormy out, that's another factor. So those - I would say those are two big ones, and then another one, obviously, is education.
KM - Those unaware of why recycling is done or why it's important are less likely to go out of their way to use the system. Since the idea of revamping the system came about, public response has been positive.
JO - I'm setting up a committee now, and they reached out to me volunteering, saying, you know, 'I really want to be part of this. I'm already recycling'. So there are quite a few people in Fort Kent that are already recycling.
KM - The first Recycling Committee meeting will take place in February, with the Council setting certain parameters for an outline of what the town could be doing in 6 to 12 months - an outline he'll spend the next several weeks working on. Ouellette says at the end of the day, it's all about saving the town money. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8