A bulldozer operator caps a section of the Crossroads Landfill operated by Waste Management in Norridgewock in August 2018. Community members are invited to attend a virtual meeting Thursday about a plan to expand an existing landfill. Morning Sentinel file photo

NORRIDGEWOCK — Community members will be able to weigh in Thursday evening on a plan to expand an existing landfill operated by Waste Management, a plan that’s drawn concern from some residents about air quality, groundwater protection, recycling and visibility.

The meeting, to be held remotely through Zoom, will begin at 6 p.m. with a presentation from Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine, who will review the site plan application and the shoreland zoning application to expand its existing landfill at 359 Mercer Road. A link to the meeting can be found on the town’s website.

Community members are invited to attend the virtual meeting and share their questions, comments or concerns. Following this meeting, the interim chairperson said that the planning board will proceed with the review of the application.

No major infrastructure changes are needed for the project, labeled Phase 14. The project would occupy 48.6 of the 933-acre landfill property and implement a variety of initiatives, including textile diversion, hazardous material diversion and composting.

This project is split into five stages to be completed over many years. Officials have worked to make sure all state and federal regulations have been met and have shared their updates and revisions at previous Planning Board meetings.

If approved, the project would begin this spring and likely be in operation through 2037.

The Crossroads Landfill, owned by Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine, serves more than 50 communities in central and western Maine and is the second-largest landfill in the state.

Without the expansion, officials have said that the landfill is expected to be filled to capacity by 2024.

Dating back to 1990, operations at the landfill have included and still include: single-sort recycling, electronic waste diversion, battery diversion, cardboard recycling, wood-waste recycling, beneficial tire reuse, waste evaluation, sustainability consulting and a renewable landfill gas-to-energy plant.

The Crossroads’ Renewable Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant has been capturing gas released from waste decomposition to generate electricity since 2009. It powers two 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines. Annually, the system collects and burns 470 million standard cubic feet of landfill gas.

At a hearing last month, some residents expressed concerns about the expansion, with one saying she’s frequently complained about the smells coming from the landfill.

Phase 14, which was introduced in September 2019, will include a Household Hazardous Materials Collection and Reuse Program to keep hazardous materials out of residential waste, and will continue throughout the life of the project. At this meeting, the Maine Chamber of Commerce estimated that the project will contribute about $298.2 million to the region over the course of its lifetime. Additionally, the annual average of property taxes is expected to remain consistent.

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