Waste Management in Norridgewock wants to expand, but not upwards, on the footprint of the land they already own. They want to break the 1989 law that said no commercial dump could expand on land they didn’t own in 1989. The Norridgewock landfill has about 12 years of capacity left.

That law was put in place as the only way to control out-of-state waste coming into Maine. The two existing commercial dumps were to close, one has, when they filled the footprints then owned and the state was to open its own landfills. We now have a state-owned landfill, and it doesn’t have to take out-of-state waste. We cannot make the commercial dump refuse out-of-state waste because of interstate commerce.

It seems to me that if this 1989 law is broken, any waste disposal industry could demand to open shop in Maine. You can’t just let one company have a monopoly.

State Rep. Philip Curtis, R-Madison, introduced a bill to allow the expansion. Is out-of-state waste the kind of business we want? Are we so poor in wealth and spirit that “Open for Business” means “Cover us in Garbage”? We need to take care of our own waste, but no community should be forced by the state or a commercial dump to have to deal with out-of-state waste.

Maine’s image as a fresh, clean, and beautiful place certainly will not be enhanced by opening the state to the importation of garbage. Believe me, bigger is not better.

A public hearing on the bill, L.D. 879, at 1 p.m. Wednesday before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee in Room 216 of the Cross Office Building, Augusta. Interested residents should attend and have their say on this issue.

Marla Bottesch


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