Spring is always a busy time after a long winter, but the past few months have been extra challenging for Wiscasset Public Works Director Ted Snowdon. Along with caring for 45 miles of town roads and supervising the town garage, in February Snowdon took on the added responsibility of overseeing the transfer station.
If that wasn’t enough, he’s had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the many headaches it has created. But Snowdon is upbeat. He is looking forward to the return of more sunshine, warmer days and everything else that makes summertime special.
“When you take into consideration how quickly this pandemic came at us and the fact it was the first time we’ve ever had to deal with something like this, I think as a community we’ve done a really good job,” he said Wednesday, May 6 at the transfer station. “My number one concern has been, and will continue to be, doing all I can to ensure the health and safety of my workers and the general public. It might take a while but we’ll get through this.”
Snowdon acknowledged he’d taken some heat on social media after the town imposed safety measures and reduced the hours the station was open to the public. “The social distancing rules and other measures we took were necessary and recommended by the state to keep everybody safe.” During the downtime Snowdon said his crew carried out some painting and other needed maintenance at the station.
The station is once again operating on its normal five-day schedule: 8 to 4 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 10 to 6 Wednesday. The outside bays are open, too, for disposal of leaves, brush, metal, scrap wood and demolition debris. And the station has begun accepting cardboard again for recycling. “The station’s scales have also recently reopened as well,” he added.
For now, transfer station users don’t have to remove recyclables like newspaper, glass, tin and plastic from their trash, added Snowdon. Almost everything can go into one bag and then tossed into the hopper. The rubbish is compacted and trucked to Hamden, where Coastal Resources of Maine processes it into recycled product and fuels. Wiscasset has a 15-year contract with the company, which uses FIBERIGHT Technology. Batteries should be separated out from trash and given to a transfer station attendant.
Snowdon said the station’s workers continue to wear masks and gloves; and disinfecting is ongoing throughout the day. Trash disposal is limited to one vehicle at a time in each of the two drive-up lanes. If you are unsure what can or can’t be thrown away, ask a station attendant or call 882-8231 during operating hours.
In March 2019, Snowdon was hired as public works director. Along with supervising the nine workers who make up the highway and transfer station crews he also in charge of Scott Andrews, the town mechanic who maintains the town’s police, emergency and public works vehicles.
Select Board Chairman Judy Colby said the same time Snowdon took on responsibility of the transfer station he was also put in charge of workers at the wastewater plant. “The select board wanted to have one supervisor over all three departments,” explained Colby. “Ted’s really done an excellent job for us particularly during this pandemic. Our community is really very fortunate to have him working for the town,” she said.
Snowdon, a native of West Bath, has called Wiscasset home since 2009. He began working for Wiscasset’s Public Works Department as a part-time truck driver in 2016. Later, he was hired as town mechanic.