April 9, 2013

DEP holds hearing on plan to send Biddeford trash to Old Town

By North Cairn ncairn@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA A public hearing on a proposal to truck Biddeford's municipal waste to the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town is being held in Augusta by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Over the course of the two-day hearing, the state’s Bureau of General Services, which owns the landfill in Old Town, and Casella Waste Management Systems, which operates it, are providing details about the proposal and answering questions.

Biddeford needs a place to dispose of its waste since the closing in December of the Maine Energy Recovery Company incinerator. The city's waste currently is taken to a transfer station in Westbrook, and then on to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

Maine residents and some environmental organizations posed questions Tuesday about the proposal to take Biddeford's trash to the Juniper Ridge Landfill and about future operations at the landfill.

One concern is whether the landfill will accept out-of-state waste. Under the proposal, neither out-of-state waste nor hazardous materials are to be allowed, according to Jeremy Labbe, an engineer and environmental manager at Juniper Ridge.

The DEP will host an open public comment session beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The hearing will continue Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Governor Hill Mansion at 136 State St.

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