The Municipal Review Committee says it has found a partner that could provide the financial backing to help reopen this recycling and waste-to-energy plant in Hampden. Above, the then-Coastal Resources of Maine plant is shown in operation in 2019. The plant later closed for financial reasons. Courtesy of Fiberight/Coastal Resources of Maine

HAMPDEN — A nonprofit committee representing the solid waste interests of 115 Maine towns and cities announced a new partner Wednesday that it hopes will help restart a recycling and waste-to-energy plant in Hampden.

The Municipal Review Committee said it has a 60-day exclusivity agreement with Innovative Resource Recovery, a special purpose entity backed by a multibillion-dollar asset management firm to restart operations at the Municipal Waste Solutions plant.

The plant closed in 2020 for financial reasons, and the MRC has been working since then to reopen it.

The agreement should enable Innovative to conduct its due diligence in the partnership, and for the MRC and Innovative to negotiate documents before an anticipated closing by June 2, according to a statement MRC issued to the news media.

Karen Fussell, president of the MRC board of directors, said in the announcement that MRC is excited to have selected a partner to help restart the plant.

“Innovative’s vision for the facility aligns with that of the MRC and they have the resources needed to restart the plant in a timely manner,” she said.


Innovative will focus immediate efforts on plant upgrades and hiring staff to allow for the efficient processing of waste, according to MRC’s announcement. It said the company aspires to make central Maine a blueprint for how communities nationwide can recover valuable resources from their waste streams and contribute to the economy.

The MRC, meanwhile, will continue seeking a loan to make sure it has capital in place by early summer as a backup.

The MRC is set to host a virtual town hall event at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, to introduce Innovative officials and discuss more details about the proposed partnership and the plant’s reopening schedule. A link to access the meeting is on the MRC’s website —

The committee bought the Hampden facility in August for $1.5 million. In July, it entered into an exclusive arrangement with New York-based Revere Capital Partners for potential investment to restart the facility, but the agreement fell through when Revere did not come up with required documents.

Central Maine communities that are members of the MRC include: Albion, China, Freedom, Oakland, Palmyra, St. Albans, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Vassalboro.

The committee itself is composed of officials from member towns.

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