Maine approves first-of-its-kind trash-to-energy facility in Hampden

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has issued final permits for trash-to-energy company Fiberight for a $69 million facility in Hampden.

The nonprofit Municipal Review Committee, representing 187 municipalities, intends to contribute $5 million to the project. It contends it's cheaper and more environmentally friendly than using an existing incinerator operated by Penobscot Energy Recovery Company. Penobscot Energy will lose subsidies and its contract with the MRC in 2018.

Critics have raised concerns about whether Fiberight has the money and technology to produce biogas and sugar from solid waste on a commercial scale.

Fiberight says 104 towns have committed to sending 100,000 tons of trash - two-thirds of Fiberight's goal.