Recycling contract subject of town meeting

PROSPECT — A town meeting is set for Tuesday to vote on a new contract for disposing of recycled materials collected from households.

The meeting starts at 6:45 p.m. at Prospect Town Hall, 36 Center St.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said the contract is between Bristol Resource Recovery Authority and the town with Murphy Road Recycling, LLC. Under the contract, the town will pay $80 to $82 per town of recyclables, depending on what it costs the company to dispose of the recyclables, he said.

Paying to get rid of recyclables is a big shift for the town, which previously didn’t pay anything for it. For years, municipalities received money for recycled materials collected from households or at least had the materials collected for free. Much of the materials collected where shipped to China.

But China has largely slammed the door on American recyclable material, cutting the industry off from a big chunk of its former market. China’s policy, launched last year, comes in response to a large amount of non-recyclable material in loads from America. China’s rapidly growing economy has also produced enough recyclable consumer waste to fill the void.

The town averages about 40 tons of recycled materials collected a month, Chatfield said. It’s estimated disposing of recyclables will cost the town $38,000 to $40,000 a year. Officials put $70,000 in the 2019-20 budget to cover the cost, before having estimates of how much it would cost.