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A third company is working to restart the shuttered Hampden waste facility

Sam Schipani
Bangor Daily News

An organization representing 115 Maine towns and cities said Wednesday it has partnered with a company in another attempt to relaunch a shuttered Hampden waste facility.

Since the Hampden facility closed three years ago, several companies have expressed interest in restarting it.

Two of those efforts fell through amid funding issues. Now, the Municipal Review Committee says it has partnered with a third firm, Innovative Resource Recovery, that’s already backed by a well-funded investment company.

Michael Carroll, the MRC’s executive director, says that funding could be a game-changer.

“So the big difference is there’s no borrowing from this team that we’re working with, there’s no looking for investors, or that type of thing," Carroll says. "They're going to go through their due diligence process, and once they get that completed, if everything looks good and a go, we’ll close and they’ll put boots on the ground right away and start spending the money that needs to happen to restart the facility.”

Carroll declined to identify the firm backing Innovative Resource Recovery, which was specially formed to help restart the Hampden facility. He said the operation has experience in various parts of the waste industry and specializes in turning around distressed assets.

The MRC will hold a remote town hall event for Thursday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. to introduce the new partner and provide more information about the hoped-for reopening.

The MRC purchased the Hampden facility last summer so it could play a more active role in its reopening, but the organization has warned that it could soon have to liquidate the plant if it can't find a partner. As a back up, it has also asked the Legislature to guarantee a $20 million loan to restart the facility.

The facility was designed to reuse waste in a variety of ways, including traditional recycling, converting fiber waste into cellulose pulp, and processing organic waste to create biogas.

Since it closed, its communities have been forced to burn or landfill much of their trash.