A loader moves trash at the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, PERC, in June. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

An auction attempting to sell a foreclosed trash incinerator failed Wednesday.

Buyers at the auction did not submit a single bid, even at $1 million, the lowest amount the auctioneer would start at.

“It’s not the bid price here, it’s the pile of trash we have to deal with,” one buyer said as the auction paused.

The auction was attempting to sell the  foreclosed Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., or PERC. The power-generating trash incinerator was originally scheduled for auction in July but was delayed three times, until Wednesday.

An auctioneer started bidding at $5 million, slowly dropping the opening price to $1 million as he tried to cajole anyone to submit a bid. After no one bid at $1 million, the auction was paused as the Keenan Auction Company consulted with their client about next steps.

After about 25 minutes of consultation, the auction was stopped. It is rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2.

PERC stopped operations May 2, but continued accepting trash from Orrington residents until early September when it became full. Trash is now going to Juniper Ridge Landfill because the incinerator is full.

Around 15 PERC employees gathered at the auction, waiting to see the future of the plant. At least 31 people were furloughed from the plant at the beginning of September. That furlough was originally supposed to end Sept. 30 but is ongoing as the plant is still in limbo.

The plant owes around $765,000 in real estate and personal property taxes.

PERC, a 40-acre facility located off of River Road, also known as Route 15, once took trash from 44 communities and commercial waste haulers.

The trash was burned to make electricity, and burned 315,000 tons of trash in 2017, its last full year of operation.

Marie Weidmayer is a reporter covering crime and justice. A recent transplant to Maine, she was born and raised in Michigan, where she worked for MLive, covering the criminal justice system. She graduated...