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March 29, 2016

Ecomaine wins support for midcoast disposal contract

The waste cooperative boards of the Rockport-based Mid-Coast Solid Waste Corporation and the three-town cooperative serving Thomaston, South Thomaston and Owls Head voted separately last week in recommending that the communities enter into a contract with Portland-based ecomaine.

The Mid-Coast Solid Waste board voted 4-2 to approve the move to ecomaine, with the two opposing members supporting a joint bid from the Municipal Review Committee and Fiberight LLC, which would involve a proposed $67 million facility to process the waste.

Supporters of awarding the waste disposal contract to ecomaine point to their familiarity with the company’s technology — it first recycles waste before it burns what’s left to create electricity at its waste-to-energy plant — and its single-stream waste disposal capabilities, among the reasons for supporting the contract, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Thomaston Selectman Peter Lammert also lauded ecomaine’s commitment to educating young people about recycling — something he said will have long-term benefits to both the environment and the communities.

One aspect ecomaine does have working against it is the added cost of transporting waste 80 miles from the midcoast region to the company’s Portland facilities, compared to the 52-mile trek waste had been taken under the current contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

There was no support to continue working with Penobscot Energy Recovery, which would charge $84.36 per ton as a tipping fee for a 15-year agreement or $89.57 per ton for a 10-year contract.

According to the BDN, ecomaine has offered the communities a price of $70.50 per ton for disposal, compared to Fiberight, which is offering to process trash at $70 per ton for a 15-year contract.

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