Cape Elizabeth committee gets more time for Recycling Center recommendation

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CAPE ELIZABETH — A town panel has received a two-month extension to submit its report on a long-term solution for increasing safety at the Recycling Center.

The Town Council on June 16 granted the extension at the request of Councilor Jessica Sullivan, chairwoman of the Solid Waste and Recycling Long Range Planning Committee.

The committee now has until Aug. 31 to submit its report, instead of June 30.

“A significant part of this has to do with the fact that the committee is going to write the report,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said that will save “a great deal of money,” which will be used for an engineering analysis. She didn’t specify an exact amount of savings.

Sullivan said the extension was requested because it will take a long time for the committee to write the report.

“I’d like to commend the committee for volunteering to do this,” she said.

The push for increased safety followed the death of former Public Works Director Herbert Dennison, 79, who was killed Nov. 24, 2014, when he was hit by a car and knocked into the two-story trash hopper at the Recycling Center. Christine Sharp-Lopez, 72, was backing into the hopper area when she struck Dennison.

A new traffic pattern that prohibits drivers from backing up went into effect at the center on Jan. 21. Town Manager Mike McGovern in January said the change was intended to be a short-term solution, while the committee works on something more permanent.

At the June 17 meeting, the committee discussed possible long-term solutions, which were presented by Randy Tome of Woodard & Curran, the firm that developed the short-term solution. The committee decided two of the ideas were worth discussing further.

One option would involve getting rid of the compacter building and using “satellite compacter units” for municipal solid waste and single-stream recyclables.

The other option would be a drive-through building with multiple lanes and “subsurface compactors.” This option was found to be the most expensive, although it offered a “good level of service.”

McGovern said a long-term change probably won’t be implemented until 2017 because of the public process required.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.