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Bill aims to stop out-of-state trash from going to Maine-owned landfill

(WABI)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - A new bill before the state legislature would restrict garbage that originates from out-of-state from being dumped in the Juniper Ridge landfill in Old Town.

The state-owned Juniper Ridge landfill takes up 68 acres in Old Town and rises 200 feet higher than anything else around it. Thirty percent of its waste originates out-of-state.

“That’s equal to about 16 40-ton tractor trailer trucks going into the landfill every single day of the year,” said Sarah Nichols, Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Nichols supports the bill to ban out-of-state trash.

“It’s construction and demolition debris, which is filled with a lot of toxic chemicals like mercury, lead, and arsenic,” Nichols said.

The legal loophole the bill would close allows out-of-state trash processed at a Maine recycling facility first to go to the landfill.

“That’s the problem here – that it’s not illegal to do, and we need to make it so it’s illegal to do,” Nichols said.

Vermont-based Casella Waste Systems, which has a 30-year contract to run the landfill, opposes the bill, as do some truckers. They say it would hurt the waste recycling industry and cost jobs.

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