MRC attorney Jim McKay addresses the Bar Harbor Town Council at a 2016 meeting. Greg Lounder, director of the MRC, is in the middle, while the CEO of Fiberight, Craig Stuart-Paul looks on. Lounder said that as the Fiberight facility in Hampden will not be open until July, but a "bypass" plan will be followed in the interim. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Fiberight behind schedule

BAR HARBOR — Construction of a new waste disposal facility in Hampden is behind schedule, so towns that had hoped to begin sending trash there in April are going to their plan B for the interim.

Member towns of the Municipal Review Committee (MRC) had planned to begin using the Hampden facility when their joint contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) ends in April. Waste from those towns currently goes to PERC in Orrington, where it is burned to generate electricity.

But the new plant may not be ready to receive trash until July, so MRC towns will now use the “bypass” plan drafted in 2015, MRC director Greg Lounder said.

“The MRC has an agreement with PERC to send some waste there as part of the bypass plan,” said Chip Reeves, MRC board president and Bar Harbor’s Public Works director. “Some communities will haul direct to Crossroads Landfill, while others may haul to a more local transfer station, which would then be hauled to Crossroads.”

Reeves said the bypass plan covers operations through November. EMR Inc. will haul Bar Harbor’s waste to Norridgewock, he said.

The Hampden facility is run by a Maryland-based company called “Fiberight.” It is designed to capture and manage organic matter in the waste stream and convert it to biogas. Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul has said he expects the Hampden facility to be open in July.

Reeves said the tipping fee at PERC is currently $80 per ton, but rebates lower it to $67. After April 1, PERC’s rate will be $70 per ton, with an MRC rebate dropping it to $65.

Any additional hauling costs during the bypass period will be funded by an MRC reserve account, Reeves said. Lounder has said that $1 million has been set aside for transportation, and that revenue sharing with the towns will not change during the bypass period.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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