The Municipal Review Committee, which represents the solid waste interests of 115 towns and cities in Maine, is poised to purchase the closed recycling and waste-to-energy plant in Hampden, shown in 2019 when it was in operation. Courtesy of Fiberight/Coastal Resources of Maine

The committee representing the solid waste interests of 115 Maine municipalities expects to buy Coastal Maine Resources’ shuttered recycling and waste-to energy plant in Hampden in the next couple of weeks, members reported Wednesday.

“We’re feeling very positive about how things are proceeding,” Karen Fussell, board president of the Municipal Review Committee, the group representing the communities, said during a public meeting.

The committee, made up of officials from the member municipalities, decided to buy the plant after many entities that showed interest in doing so were found not to be qualified.

The sale to the nonprofit committee met a slight delay recently when a judge did not approve the sale and instead sought to schedule a hearing to consider more information regarding lien holder claims, Fussell said.

“But I am pleased to report that it looks like MRC has been able to work with the lien holders for a resolution,” she said.

Shawn Doil, an attorney with the firm Eaton Peabody, which is working with the committee, updated members on the latest court proceedings.


“We were able to reach an agreement in principle with the two objecting lien holders due to our executive director’s great efforts getting that done,” Doil said. “So we are working right now on documenting those, and as soon as those are documented the agreement is that those two parties will withdraw their objections and our anticipation is that, at that point, the court will issue the order approving the sale.”

Fussell asked Doil when the MRC could expect to close on the purchase of the facility.

“We’re working very hard to get everything in line so we can get closed as soon as possible, ideally in the next couple of weeks,” Doil said.

Fussell noted that the committee is speaking with a number of “good, private sector partners we might work with to help share ownership and operation of the facility.”

She said previously the committee had indicated it would go to member municipalities to seek financing to open and restart the facility.

“We’re pursing the private partner angle first, and we’re working on that,” she said. “We’ve had very successful meetings with some folks that both participated in this most recent sale process and some other folks that did not participate but are showing interest in the facility.”

Michael Carroll, the committee’s executive director, said he was pleased with the sale progress.

“I’m happy that we’re able to work with those two lien holders, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to move forward,” he said.

Central Maine communities that are members of the MRC include: Albion, China, Freedom, Oakland, Palmyra, St. Albans, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Vassalboro. Many communities had been sending their waste to the Hampden facility as part of a long-range deal brokered by the MRC, but are sending it elsewhere in the interim.

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