The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has approved draft permits for a $69 million waste-to-energy plant. But there seem to be questions as to how many municipalities will send waste to the facility, which could lead to a change in plans for the plant.
Previously, the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. facility handled the region’s waste. But the Municipal Review Committee, which represents 187 Maine municipalities, has not renewed its energy purchasing agreement with the facility. It runs out in 2018. Instead, the MRC backed the plan to build a new facility in Hampden. Meanwhile, the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. and Casella Waste Systems reached a deal under which Casella will deliver commercial waste from the region to Penobscot’s incinerator in Orrington, Maine.
The Bangor Daily News has more:
The MRC set a June 30 deadline for communities to sign contracts and be eligible to share in future profits of the Fiberight plant. The MRC has 187 members, which include individual communities and solid-waste cooperatives.
As of Friday, July 1, more than 97 members had contracted with MRC to send more than 98,000 tons of trash to the new facility annually. While it is only about two-thirds of MRC’s original goal of securing at least 150,000 tons of trash on an annual basis, company officials said Friday that it is enough to move forward, especially with other contracts pending.
The MRC has said the size of the Fiberight plant could be reduced from its planned annual capacity of 180,000 tons to 110,000 tons and still be financed, built and profitable.