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

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

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.

Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.