Waste at the Coastal Resources of Maine facility in Hampden on a conveyor belt heading towards a trommel, which separates materials by size and weight. Credit: Sam Schipani / BDN

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There may be some positives in the Municipal Review Committee’s Hampden plant situation to highlight at the Dec. 14 annual meeting. Leadership could emerge from towns that can convince the people in charge to take a different approach and incorporate proven diversion techniques reducing waste disposal needs.

The MRC towns are now owners of the trash-sorting facility. Perhaps that machinery could be used to remove recyclables currently ending up at PERC and Juniper Ridge and Crossroads landfills.

Contracts bind 115 Maine municipalities to a non-operating facility. These agreements weave a web making it difficult for towns to exit the contracts they signed several years ago.

Towns signed onto a promise to divert up to 80 percent of their waste from being landfilled. The MRC Hampden plant operated briefly and rather than being reused and resold, some of the waste materials were sent to landfills, where they live forever.

MRC towns deserve an honest discussion of available options and should take advantage of grants to assist in recycling and waste diversion like the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program. We encourage citizens to attend the Dec. 14 MRC annual meeting to speak up for true recycling for MRC towns.

Jackie Elliott

Member

Don’t Waste ME

Waterboro