Transfer Station Wary of Private Operation of Trash Facility
By: Brent Runyon
Carl F. Cavossa Jr. continued to lobby the Upper Cape Regional Transfer Station board of managers to allow his company Cavossa Disposal to take over the transfer station’s management and operations, Wednesday.
“We’d like to be involved in discussions with the Upper Cape Regional Transfer Station board,” Mr. Cavossa said.
He offered to meet with each town’s representative individually to make his case to run the station, guaranteeing that the towns involved, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich, would not lose money.
Mashpee’s representative to the board Catherine E. Laurent said Mr. Cavossa would have to discuss his proposal with the board as a whole, not individual members, at a future meeting.
“I think we’re interested in what you’re proposing,” she said. “And I know other haulers would be as well.”
Falmouth’s representative John S. Elliott said he has a hard time discussing the topic with Mr. Cavossa, because Mr. Cavossa’s firm has only brought 1.5 tons of trash to the station in the past four months, violating regulations.
Mr. Elliott was referring to a town bylaw that requires all trash in Falmouth to be brought to the transfer station. Mr. Cavossa and other trash haulers have not complied with that bylaw, which Falmouth has never tried to enforce until recently. Mr. Cavossa maintains that a United States Supreme Court decision made those regulations illegal.
“We can’t bring waste to you [Upper Cape Transfer],” Mr. Cavossa said. “We can’t afford to pay $85 to $90 a ton,” he said, making the argument that it is cheaper to bring the trash to Bourne or to SEMASS directly.
“If and when we do bring waste to you, it won’t solve your problem.”
It would really help financially, Mr. Elliott said.
In the past two years, the towns have not met minimum trash requirements at the transfer station, incurring costs for unused services.
“If we are going to consider this, we need to open it up to everyone,” said Ms. Laurent.
“The only question I have is: Do we want to open a discussion with a company who is non-compliant with our regulations? ” said Paul S. Stilton, the Sandwich representative to the board.
The board agreed to discuss the matter further at a future meeting, either in July or August.
The Upper Cape Regional Transfer Station is near the Falmouth gate on the Massachusetts Military Reservation. Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich haul trash to the base facility, where it is then transferred by rail to the SEMASS waste-to-energy plant in Rochester. Bourne is a member of the transfer station’s board of managers, but does not bring trash there because it has its own landfill.
Currently, the station is operated by two Falmouth Department of Public Works employees, and costs the four towns approximately $300,000 a year to operate. Mr. Cavossa has said he could operate it at about half that cost, and incorporate recycling into the operations.
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