A bill being proposed in the Maine legislature could bring some relief to the residents of Alton and Old Town when it comes a local landfill. The bill is LD 1639: 'An Act to Protect the Health and Welfare of Maine Communities and Reduce Harmful Solid Waste'.
The Juniper Ridge landfill has been taking in waste from out-of-state due to a loophole present in Maine laws. According to WMTW, 30 percent of the site is made up of trash from out-of-state with most of it from Massachusetts.
Maine lawmaker Anne Carney of Cape Elizabeth is sponsoring the bill to close the loophole and eliminate the use of Maine landfills to take waste from out-of-state.
The argument for eliminating the loophole is reducing harmful waste that area communities say potentially harmful to the environment. Additionally, according to a quote from Maine Public from the sponsor of the bill, the taxpayers of Maine foot the bill for this landfill and are paying to have waste from other states dumped on Maine land.
The loophole allows out-of-state waste to become reclassified as Maine waste through a processing facility in Lewiston and become landfill here in the state.
Eliminating the loophole could put Maine waste processing facility ReSource Waste Services at risk for closure since a lot of its business comes from processing out-of-state waste. Once processed, the waste, mostly made of construction debris, becomes landfill. According to WMTW, 90 percent of processed materials from ReSource Waste Services will end up at Juniper Ridge.