MOUNT DESERT — For many of the 187 municipalities with membership in the Municipal Review Committee (MRC), the decision to go with Fiberight or stay with PERC for solid waste disposal will be made by voters at town meeting this spring.
Mount Desert is one of them.
The town’s Board of Selectmen Tuesday night heard a pitch for switching to Fiberight from Karen Fussell, finance director for the city of Brewer and a member of the MRC board.
“Despite assertions to the contrary, PERC is not going to be viable once its electrical subsidies, which were valued at $20 million in 2015, end in 2018,” she said.
Selectman Martha Dudman pointed out that the waste processing technology that Fiberight would use “hasn’t been tested in a large facility in the United States yet.”
Fussell acknowledged that, but said, “The Fiberight technology is based on what is widely used in Europe. There are about 330 plants over there that operate on this technology … and there are many more in the planning and production stages.”
Fussell told the selectmen and audience members that among the advantages of the Fiberight process will be a significant reduction in the amount of waste going into a landfill.
“The PERC facility has been sending an average of 110,000 tons a year to Juniper Ridge [landfill],” she said. “It’s estimated the Fiberight facility will send 30,000 to 40,000 tons a year … to the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock.”