Frequently Asked Questions
1) What can I bring to the Transfer Station for disposal?
The Transfer Station accepts everything except the following:
Ø Tree & bush roots or stumps
Ø Liquid wastes or sludge (we do accept vegetable oils, motor oil, transmission fluid, gas, kerosene, and other petroleum based fluids for our waste oil furnace). Liquid wastes such as anti-freeze and oil based paint can be dropped off during Hazardous Waste Day.
Ø Hazardous wastes (We do accept mercury containing items such as thermometers, thermostats, smoke alarms, fluorescent lights (tube & screw in compacts), hearing aid batteries, transformers, mercury switches, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, & button batteries. Older model chest freezers & gas ovens have mercury switches; please notify a Transfer Station attendant if you drop one of these items off. Other Hazardous Waste can be dropped off on Hazardous Waste Day. See the Hazardous Waste link for a definition & date.
Ø Dead animals or portions thereof, and medical or biological wastes. (We do accept hypodermic needles if contained in a thick walled plastic container such as a bleach or laundry detergent jug.)
2) How can I prevent my trashcans from rolling around the neighborhood after they have been emptied?
The best method is to build or buy a curbside trash bin. This bin should have a cover to keep rain and animals out, and ventilation holes to reduce odors. A front or side door will prevent the need to lift your cans or bags over the side. The bin should be just big enough to hold your weekly allotment of garbage cans or trash bags. Place the bin 8 to 10 feet from the side of the road to avoid snowplow damage. These bins are also the best way to prevent animals from getting into your trash and spreading it around the neighborhood.
Another option is to screw a couple of 2x4’s to the outside bottom of your trash can so that it sticks out past the sides about 4 to 6 inches. This should greatly reduce the amount of rolling from your trashcans.
Please keep in mind that rectangular trashcans will do a lot less roaming than round cans, but any empty can is likely to move around in the wind. Homes on roads with a lot of truck traffic are especially vulnerable to this problem.
3) What happens to my T.V. or computer once I drop it off at the Transfer Station? I’ve heard that many towns send these items overseas where environmental concerns are not addressed.
The Buxton Transfer Station ships all televisions, computers, and computer screens to Uniwaste Services in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Uniwaste disassembles these items on site to recover any recyclable materials and properly disposes of any waste. Sending these items overseas is a bad option because they typically use child labor and allow these items to pollute the environment.
4) Why can’t I throw fluorescent bulbs in the trash?
Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury vapor. Mercury is harmful to the environment and your health. If you accidentally break a fluorescent bulb, back away immediately to avoid breathing in the mercury vapors, and ventilate the area. Compact fluorescent bulbs (the twisty screw in types) also contain mercury vapor. All fluorescent bulbs should be brought to the Transfer Station for proper disposal.
5) Which items contain mercury?
Thermometers, thermostats, smoke alarms, cell phones, fluorescent lights (tube & screw in compacts), hearing aid batteries, rechargeable batteries, transformers, mercury switches, & button batteries. Older model chest freezers & gas ovens have mercury switches.
6) What should I do with antifreeze?
Please save antifreeze until Hazardous Waste Day. The Transfer Station accepts antifreeze free of charge on Hazardous Waste Day. Improper disposal of antifreeze is harmful to the environment.
7) What should I do with used motor oil or old gas?
Vegetable oils, motor oil, transmission fluid, gas, kerosene, and other petroleum-based fluids should be brought to the Transfer Station to be burned in our waste oil furnace. We can only accept oil or gas in containers holding 5 gallons or less.
8) What if my gas or oil is mixed with water or antifreeze?
Contaminated gas or oil can be saved for Hazardous Waste Day, or dried with sawdust, kitty litter, or speedy dry, and then deposited in our MERC bin.
9) What should I do with paint?
Oil based paint and stains are hazardous and should be saved for hazardous waste day. Latex paint can be accepted at the Transfer Station if it is not in liquid form. Latex paint doesn’t have to be bone dry, just the consistency of oatmeal or dryer. Adding sawdust, kitty litter, or speedy dry works well.
10) Do you accept gas or oil tanks?
We can accept gas or oil tanks if you cut them in half or at least cut several large holes in them. There is no charge for most metal items including gas or oil tanks. Sludge from the bottom of the tank can be disposed of on Hazardous Waste Day. Oil sludge can also be disposed of in our MERC bin if you add sawdust, speedy-dry, or kitty litter to bring it to an oatmeal consistency.
11) Do you accept lawnmowers or other items with an engine?
We accept lawnmowers or other items with an engine as long as the gas and oil are drained out of the engine before disposal. The gas and oil can be burned in our waste oil furnace.
12) Do you accept Styrofoam?
We do not have a market to recycle Styrofoam. Styrofoam dropped off at the Transfer Station is burned for fuel at the MERC incinerator in Biddeford.
13) Do I have to break down cardboard boxes in order for them to be recycled?
No, our bailing machine presses cardboard boxes into a tight block suitable for recycling.
14) Do you accept plastic shopping bags?
We can only recycle # 2 plastic. We do not have a market to recycle plastic shopping bags. Plastic bags dropped off at the Transfer Station are burned for fuel at the MERC incinerator in Biddeford. Many supermarkets accept plastic shopping bags for recycling.
15) What happens to my recyclables after I drop them off at the Transfer Station?
We sort, bail, and store recyclables until we have accumulated a full load. Once we have a full load, we sell recyclables to whomever is paying the most for them at that particular time. The market for recyclables is global. Sometimes our recyclables are reprocessed into new products right here in Maine, other times our material is shipped to other States, Canada, or even China.
16) How should I recycle my cat food cans?
Most cat food cans are made of aluminum and should be recycled in the inside or outside aluminum bins.
17) What should I do with aerosol products such as shaving cream cans or hair spray cans?
Aerosol cans should be recycled in the metal can bin inside the recycling building, or the 40 yard metal bin in the outside drop off area.
18) What is the difference between cardboard & boxboard?
Cardboard is ribbed & has a honeycombed pattern of air pockets when viewed from the side, boxboard is usually thinner, and has no honeycombed air pockets or ribs.
19) I have a home-based business; can I put my trash out for curbside collection?
Yes, as long as you can meet the bag limits of 7 standard white kitchen bags or 3 black leaf bags or garbage cans. Home-based businesses are not considered commercial for the purposes of curbside collection.
20) I have a home-based business, but produce too much trash to meet the bag limit, what
are my options?
You can recycle more to try and meet the bag limits, rent a dumpster, or bring your trash to the Transfer Station (you will be charged a fee based on the amount you bring).
21) My building has 4 units, why doesn’t the garbage truck pick up our curbside trash?
Any building with more than 3 units is considered commercial and is not eligible for curbside pickup.
22) What is the general rule of when metal items are free and when they cost money for
If the metal contains compressed gas there is a charge. This includes refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, propane tanks, and other gas cylinders. Other metals are free.
23) Is it OK to flush my prescription drugs down the toilet?
No, it pollutes the groundwater. Hide them in your curbside trash or bring them to the Transfer Station. Please see the prescription drug link for more information.
24) How much am I allowed to put out each week for curbside pickup?
Please see the “Curbside Pickup Rules” link.