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Communities seek help from lawmakers to restart shuttered Hampden trash facility

The Hampden waste plant that could be purchased by Delta Thermo Energy by early in the summer.
Fiberight via BDN
The Hampden waste plant now owned by the Municipal Review Committee.

The organization trying to restart a shuttered Hampden waste facility is asking lawmakers for help.

Officials from the Municipal Review Committee told a legislative committee Wednesday that they might need the state to guarantee a $20 million loan to restart the facility if they can’t find a private partner.

The MRC had previously been working with a New York-based hedge fund to secure the funds to upgrade and run the plant, which it purchased last summer, but a key deadline passed in January without a purchase agreement.

Now, MRC Board President Karen Fussell says they’ll run out of funds to maintain the plant if they can’t find a solution.

“Even if the board votes to explore partnership with another entity, we must simultaneously pursue an alternate funding source in case the private sector option does not yield results," Fussell told lawmakers on Wednesday.

"MRC is down to its end of its resources, and if a path to restart funding is not identified by early summer, we’ll be forced to liquidate the facility. Our time is running perilously short.”

The MRC manages waste for 115 communities across eastern, central and northern Maine. It has been forced to landfill or burn much of its trash since the Hampden plant closed in 2020 due to start up and financial challenges.

Lawmakers on the environment and natural resources committee are now considering whether to create legislation to help the MRC.