On Thursday, Oct. 13, from 7-9 p.m. at the Clifford Performing Arts Auditorium at Mount View High School in Thorndike, a panel of people knowledgeable about municipal solid waste on the state and local level will share their experiences and answer questions in the second meeting hosted by the Unity Area Regional Recycling Center Board of Directors.

Town officers, planners, interested citizens, and representatives of businesses with vested interests in handling solid waste are invited and encouraged to participate: to share their knowledge, experience and concerns. Refreshments will be offered after the discussion session.

In an economy where disposables have become the norm, where discount stores are common and repair shops almost non-existent, trash is a burgeoning problem. Because of the amount and nature of our waste, the old landfills had to be closed to protect our water, soils and air. We now pay twice, at least, for everything we buy: the purchase, the packaging, the disposal. There is no “away,” and the costs of putting our trash in a safe place away from our homes and businesses are getting higher, and will rise faster in the near future.

To address the issues generated by this economic model, a panel consisting of Greg Lounder, from the Municipal Review Committee for PERC (Penobscot Energy Recovery Corporation); Michael Parker, from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Hazardous and Solid Waste Bureau; Don Shute, manager of the Pittsfield Transfer Station; John Albertini, of the Maine Resource Recovery Association; George MacDonald, from the Maine State Planning Office; and Alan Lord, from Corinth, manager of a three-town solid waste district, will share their knowledge and discuss the options for small towns. Don Newell of Unity will moderate the discussion.

This past spring, a first “Trash Talk” was held by the UARRC board at the high school. Officers and residents from several area towns came, and many questions were raised and discussed. Some questions left from that meeting have been passed on to the panelists and suggestions and questions about the area recycling center are being explored by the board. Attendees were asked if a follow-up meeting would be welcome, and the answer was universally, “Yes!”

The Board of Directors for the UARRC serves also as a Regional Solid Waste Committee according to the Interlocal Agreement under which the Center was created in 1990. The recycling center on Leonard Road in Thorndike was built in 1991. The board meets on the third Thursday of each month at the center. For more information about the Center, call 568-3117. For more information about Trash Talk, call 948-5912.