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June 11, 2018

PERC enlists 'Terminators' to gain new revenue in face of lost contracts

The Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington has purchased two $800,000 grinders — nicknamed The Terminators — that the waste-to-energy firm expects will ensure its future after losing up to two-thirds of its municipal solid waste contracts.

Maine Public reported the 40-foot-long grinders handle oversized bulky waste such as old tires and carpets that used to be sent to the landfill, transforming such waste into the fuel that will generate electricity for homes.

PERC expects the bulky waste will replace lost revenues due to the loss of municipal waste contract — and could mean the difference between turning a profit or absorbing a loss, Maine Public reported. The state Department of Environmental Protection places oversize bulky waste within the category of demolition and construction debris, which makes up more than one quarter of all solid waste generated by normal household and commercial sources.

In April, the Bangor Daily News reported that PERC laid off more than 20% of its workforce, due in part to losing contracts with communities that chose to send waste to Fiberight, which is building a 144,000-square foot waste processing and recycling facility in Hampden.

In May, Fiberight updated its opening dates for its waste-to-biofuel facility.

Fiberight's recycling portion could be running by September. The rest of the plant is expected to be open by December. The company missed its originally projected opening day of April 1. In April, Maine Public reported that the delay was forcing more than 100 communities in central and eastern Maine to temporarily send their waste to two landfills.

PERC told Maine Public it expects to see increased business as more communities choose to send their oversized bulky waste to its Orrington facility rather than to a landfill.

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