WARREN — More than two years ago, the state and town of Warren hailed what they thought was a solution to how to dispose of mountains of highly flammable fiber waste stored off busy Route 90.

But that deal has crumbled, and the state is starting over to figure out how to get rid of the thousands of tons.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection signed a contract with Triumvirate Environmental Inc. of Somerville, Massachusetts, in October 2013. Triumvirate agreed to remove all the fiber waste from the site of the former R.D. Outfitters rifle range, and truck the material to a manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, where it would be converted into composite lumber, at no cost to the town or state.

But the first trucks did not begin hauling off truckloads of waste until April 2015, in a ceremony attended by then-DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho.

DEP’s contract with Triumvirate expired in April and the company was not interested in renewing the agreement, DEP project manager Michael Parker said Friday.

Parker said that the state agency is starting over to figure out how to deal with the waste.

By the time the contract expired, only 1,000 of the 27,000 tons of fiber waste had been removed.

“People are frustrated, aggravated, whatever adjective you want to use,” said Wayne Luce, the chairman of the town’s Board of Selectmen.

Luce said he does not know what can be done but hopes that the state can come up with a way to remove the material.

The material – which was used for things such as lining vehicle trunks – is considered hazardous because it is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish if ignited.

The 70-acre site had been home to R.D. Outfitters rifle range, owned by Steamship Navigation. When the owners of that facility brought in the material during the late 1990s, Randy Dunican – who, along with his wife, Cathy, were the principals of Steamship Navigation – said it was to be used as berms to stop bullets from going off the property. But some residents questioned whether the property was simply being used as an unlicensed dump, with the owner trying to make money by accepting the material from Gates Formed Fibre of Auburn.

The DEP years ago estimated Randy and Cathy Dunican received $1 million to have the waste dumped on the property.

The DEP ultimately went to court to take control of the site after the Dunicans said they had no money to complete the berm project, which would have consisted of covering all the fiber with dirt. The DEP went to court and received $410,000 from the former owner to assist in the cleanup costs.

The DEP solicited proposals several years ago and contracted with Triumvirate, expecting that would be the solution. Aho said in that 2015 ceremony that she was stunned by the scope and magnitude of the waste piles.

Parker said Triumvirate has found a source of material closer to the Pennsylvania manufacturing plant and was no longer interested in the Warren pile. A telephone message left Friday afternoon with a Triumvirate spokesman was not returned.

The property is still owned by Steamship Navigation but for two decades, the company has not paid any property taxes. Town residents, however, have waived foreclosure on the property for the past 18 years out of concern about the town being liable for the ultimate cleanup.

“I am disappointed that the DEP has not moved faster,” Luce said. “We’re very dissatisfied.”

Parker said he has reached out to the Dragon Products cement plant in neighboring Thomaston to see if that company would want to use the wastes to fuel its kiln. The company had expressed an interest a few years earlier but needed to meet some federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The plant manager at Dragon did not respond to a phone message Friday.