Group Representing 187 Maine Municipalities Inks Development Deal for Hampden Waste Handling Facility
by Dawn Gagnon (Bangor Daily News) After receiving assurances that the technology is viable, members of the Municipal Review Committee board voted unanimously Wednesday to enter a development agreement with a Maryland-based company that wants to build a solid waste processing facility that will turn trash into biofuel.
If the necessary approvals and financing come through, Fiberight will construct a 90,000-square-foot plant in Hampden that would replace the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., a waste-to-energy plant in Orrington where member communities’ trash is sent to be burned and made into electricity.
The Municipal Review Committee is a nonprofit organization formed in 1991 to address the garbage disposal interests of a group of towns that totals 187 municipalities. The group’s leaders started looking for alternatives five years ago because they believe PERC, of which it is part owner, will not be profitable after 2018, when lucrative agreements for the electric power it generates expire.
Fiberight’s technology reuses organic materials in trash to make biofuels after the glass, metals, papers and plastics are removed to be sold on the commodities market. Research also is underway on the use of fibrous material left over from the distilling process to make other products, such as 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, Greg Lounder, the committee’s executive director, said earlier.
Fiberight has a demonstration plant in Lawrenceville, Virginia, that distills municipal solid waste into ethanol, biogas or compressed natural gas. READ MORE