Employees of Fiberight oversee the waste-processing system in Hampden in 2019 before the plant was closed for financial reasons. Courtesy of Fiberight/Coastal Resources of Maine

The committee representing the solid waste interests of 115 Maine municipalities remains optimistic it will close early next year with a financial partner that would operate and partially own the Municipal Waste Solutions recycling and waste-to-energy plant in Hampden.

Municipal Review Committee members said as much Wednesday at their annual meeting in Orono, where officials from Revere Capital Partners, the prospective partner, expressed confidence the firm will be able to close the deal after completing an engineering report that validates everything it intends to do at the plant.

The report would provide an assessment of how to restart the plant and keep it operating successfully.

Officials said the goal is to maximize diversion of waste generated by member municipalities by encouraging new and expanded uses of solid waste such as turning it into pulp, natural gas and briquettes.

The committee bought the plant in August for $1.5 million, and began negotiating last summer with Revere with an eye toward owning and operating the plant under a new name, Municipal Waste Solutions.

Under the draft terms, Revere, a New York City-based investment firm, would provide the capital needed to restart and operate the facility and would be majority partner. The deadline for closing has been extended to allow Revere more time to finalize important steps. Meanwhile, the committee’s executive director, Michael Carroll, said the committee has developed a contingency plan, should the deal not happen. That plan ensures the committee would be able to work on its own financing plan if needed, he said.


“Much time and effort has been put into this,” Carroll said of the backup plan.

The facility closed for financial reasons in May 2020. Coastal Resources of Maine, whose name the committee changed recently to Municipal Waste Solutions, was formed by the international company Fiberight to finance, run and operate the plant. With its closure, about 25% of MRC members’ waste is taken to the Waste Management landfill in Norridgewock, and the other 75% goes to Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

The Coastal Resources of Maine waste-to-energy plant in Hampden is seen in operation in 2019. The plant later closed for financial reasons. Courtesy of Fiberight/Coastal Resources of Maine

Carroll said Wednesday that since the committee purchased the plant, much progress has been made. The plant and equipment have been fully insured, a bid process to solicit partners conducted, Revere was selected as a potential partner and an agreement with Revere executed. The committee would continue to own the land under the plant if the deal closes and receive lease payments from Revere, Carroll said. Revere submitted a $400,000 down payment for exclusivity rights and the committee was awarded more than $42,000 in grants for staffing and education, Carroll said.

“If we had been driving the bus two years ago,” he said, “I believe the facility would be up and operating by now.”

Denis St. Peter, president and CEO of Haley Ward Inc., an engineering firm from Bangor that has been working with the committee, said the infrastructure of the plant is in very good shape, a certain amount of waste is needed to make the plant economical and it is important that municipal membership continues.

“My advice is to stick together as much as you can,” he said.


The committee leads the state in its regional efforts with the plant, according to St. Peter.

“I think you are in a very good spot with Revere to make that successful,” he said.

George Aronson, principal of Commonwealth Resource Management who has been consulting with the committee, said the progress has included uphill battles and a lot of challenges and while the committee is not where it wants to be yet, it can see a path to where it wants to be.

“If it were easy, it would be done,” he said.

The committee is made up of town managers, selectmen, directors of public works and other officials from member towns. Those elected this month to fill three open committee seats were Oakland Town Manager Ella Bowman and incumbents Tony Smith of Mount Desert and Bob Butler of Waldoboro, according to committee President Karen Fussell.

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