November 15, 2012

Biddeford, buyer briefly delay sale of MERC

Operations at the Biddeford trash incinerator will end in December.

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD – The city of Biddeford and Casella Waste Systems Inc. have pushed back the closing date for the sale of Maine Energy Recovery Co.

click image to enlarge

This file photo shows the Maine Energy Recovery Co. incinerator in Biddeford.

Staff File Photo

The city plans to buy the Maine Energy property for $6.65 million and had originally set a date of Nov. 15 to finalize the deal with Casella, the Vermont-based parent company of MERC.

Mayor Alan Casavant said changing the closing date to Nov. 30 allows the two parties additional time to complete due diligence on all aspects of the agreement, including the stipulation that Casella decommission the facility.

"Because we do not have all test results from the site in hand and associated paperwork, the city and Casella have agreed to delay the signing until all information is available," Casavant said in a press release. "Once all remedies and information become acceptable to the city, we expect the transaction to proceed."

Casella announced earlier this month it would close MERC by the end of the year and shift waste processing to a new facility in Westbrook as it seeks approval to send trash to a landfill in Old Town.

Casella's long-term plan is to process trash in Westbrook and bury it at the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town. It first needs state licensing to allow Juniper Ridge to accept waste that's now processed in Biddeford. That issue is pending with the Department of Environmental Protection.

In early November, Casella gave 60-day notice to its 75 employees in Biddeford.

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

ggraham@pressherald.com

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