MOUNT DESERT — Coastal Resources of Maine, which uses technology developed by Fiberight, is closed for the time being, so what is happening with trash on the island?
Towns on Mount Desert Island are either a member of the Acadia Disposal District or of the Municipal Review Committee, or both, and thus are part of a temporary 75/25 percent agreement forged with Penobscot Energy Recovery Company. Temporary in that the contract is meant to be in place until Coastal Resources is up and running again.
“Right now they’re still trying to find someone to operate the plant,” Southwest Harbor Town Manager Justin VanDongen said to the town’s Board of Selectmen on Tuesday.
While most of the solid waste – 75 percent – is going to PERC where it can be made into renewable energy, the other 25 percent is going to Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock, according to Tony Smith, who is vice president of the MRC board and Mount Desert’s public works director.
Residents of Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Mount Desert, Trenton, Swan’s Island and the Cranberry Isles can continue to dispose of their trash with the ‘one bin all in’ method, which combines trash and recyclable materials, because of this agreement.
Separating recyclable materials is still a thing in Bar Harbor. Information is provided on the town’s website as to which materials are accepted in the single sort machine at the transfer station. Bar Harbor is a member of MRC, which means transfer of the town’s solid waste is part of the 75/25 contract with PERC.
“Some people say the recyclables carry so little value they may end up in the landfill anyway,” said VanDongen about the market for recycling and the shutdown of Coastal Resources. “I don’t think any of us saw this coming.”