June 24, 2019
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Hearing to focus on new Hampden trash-to-energy plant

HAMPDEN, Maine — The public will have an opportunity Monday night to learn more about plans to build a processing plant in Hampden that would turn the region’s trash into biofuel.

During Monday’s meeting, set for 7 p.m. at the Hampden town office, the Municipal Review Committee, a group representing the trash disposal interests of 187 Maine communities, and its Maryland-based partner, Fiberight LLC, will present their plans to develop a $60 million state-of-the-art solid waste recycling and processing facility in Hampden.

The Municipal Review Committee’s leaders started looking for alternatives more than five years ago because they believe that the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., of which it is part owner, will not be profitable after 2018, when lucrative agreements for the electric power it generates expire.

If all goes to plan, the new facility will be built in the “triangle” area between Ammo Industrial Park, Interstate 95 and Coldbrook Road.

The partners now are gearing up to submit a joint application in mid-May for a state license to run a municipal solid waste processing and recycling facility and Monday’s public information meeting is a required step in the application process, Greg Lounder, the committee’s executive director, said Friday.

The project also is subject to approval by the Hampden Planning Board.

The meeting’s purpose is to inform the public about the project and its anticipated environmental impacts, Lounder said.

Denis St. Peter of CES Inc. will present an overview of the project, provide details on natural resource information collected on the project site and describe any expected environmental impacts, Lounder said.

St. Peter also will discuss all state, local and federal licenses needed for the facility and outline public comment and participation opportunities for each of those proceedings.

Also Monday, Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul will offer an overview of Fiberight’s recycling and processing technology, which produces renewable energy products from municipal solid waste, Lounder said.

Fiberight’s technology essentially reuses organic materials in trash to make biofuels after the glass, metals, papers and plastics are removed to be sold on the commodities market, Lounder said earlier. The municipal group also is researching using the fibrous material left over from the distilling process to make fuel pellets that can be used for heating.

With the amount of recycling and reuse planned, only about 20 percent of what people throw into their trash bins will make it to a landfill, Lounder said earlier.

A question and answer session will follow.

The Fiberight project also will be discussed during the committee’s next quarterly meeting set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Hampden town office.

A copy of the license application and related documents can be seen at the Hampden town office.

Written comments about the project can be sent to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333­-0017.

 



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