Ensuring affordable, long term, and environmentally sound disposal of MSW

Knowledge Base

Acronyms and Brief Definitions
  1. MRC: Municipal Review Committee, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to ensuring the long-term affordable, environmentally sound disposal of municipal solid waste for its members.

 

  1. MSW: Municipal Solid Waste.

 

  1. Fiberight: Fiberight, LLC is the parent company that developed and owns the technology for processing mixed MSW to be installed in the facility in Hampden, Maine.

 

  1. Coastal: Coastal Resources of Maine, LLC, the project company formed by Fiberight to finance, own and operate the Hampden project.

 

  1. Crossroads: Crossroads Landfill located in Norridgewock, Maine.

 

  1. WM: Waste Management, Inc., the owners of Crossroads, is a waste management company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

 

  1. JRL: Juniper Ridge Landfill, owned by the State of Maine and operated by Casella.

 

  1. Casella: Casella Waste Systems, a waste management company based in Rutland, Vermont.

 

  1. Bridge Waste: MSW being sent to an alternative site on an interim, short-term basis as a result of the Coastal facility not opening on time is referred to as bridge waste.

 

  1. Bypass Waste: MSW being sent to an alternative site on an interim, short-term basis after the facility has been in operation is referred to as bypass waste.

 

  1. PERC: Penobscot Energy Recovery Company in Orrington, Maine.
Who is the MRC?

The MRC, which stands for Municipal Review Committee, Inc., is a non-profit corporation dedicated to ensuring the affordable, environmentally sound disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the long-term for its members.  The MRC membership is currently comprised of the 115 communities that have contracted to send their MSW to the Fiberight next generation waste processing facility being constructed in Hampden, Maine.

Our nine member volunteer board is elected by the membership and is made up of municipal officials and experienced individuals with extensive knowledge of the MSW industry.  Our decisions are made in public meetings.  We have been proactive about ensuring that our members will have an affordable and long-term solution to MSW disposal.  We recognize that when we work together we all are in a better position to address the waste handling needs of the region.

Click these links to learn more about the MRC and its long and successful history.

How can I receive updates from the MRC?

Sign-up for e-mail updates from the MRC here. We will not share your e-mail address.  Attend MRC board meetings, which are always open to the public.  Like the MRC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

What is the MRC’s role in the new Fiberight facility?

MRC owns the land on which the facility sits and leases the property to Coastal Resources of Maine, LLC (Coastal a subsidiary of Fiberight.  MRC has all the rights of a landlord over its tenant consistent with the terms of the Site Lease.

Why did the MRC select Fiberight?

Fiberight has many advantages compared with other alternatives reviewed by the MRC.  Of particular note are the following:

 

  • The Fiberight facility can convert organic wastes into high-value products without needing a new region-wide system to collect organic materials separately from other wastes. While there are precedents for source-separated collection in urban areas, instituting a broad new and duplicative system for separate collection and transportation of organic wastes in rural Maine would be expensive and burdensome and would pose major implementation challenges.

 

  • The Fiberight facility uses a proprietary system for pulping waste prior to recovery of recyclable materials that avoids contamination issues associated with conventional mixed-waste processing facilities. Recovered recyclable materials will be clean with little contamination, thereby maintaining Maine’s tradition and reputation for producing high-quality recyclable materials.

 

  • As a regional facility, Fiberight offers the capability to make use of technologies, market opportunities, and environmental control measures at a scale that is not available or feasible for use by individual communities or groups of communities in the MRC service territory. By continuing to work together through the MRC, communities can accomplish far more than if each were to pursue an individual solution.  Likewise, the more there are that join together, the more successful the project will be.

 

  • Fiberight’s use of the wet pulping process, which offers the opportunity to recover high-quality recyclable materials using technology with which there is experience in other applications in Maine and is accomplished with a minimum of hands-on, manual picking.

 

  • Their use of the sugar platform, which provides opportunities to produce a variety of products that include bio-methane and precursors to production of industrial sugars and/or ethanol, with prospects for a high level of diversion and a low level of residuals requiring landfill disposal. The concentration on production of bio-gas makes the project positioned to achieve financing while retaining the flexibility to convert to production of other byproducts if markets dictate.
What is the Fiberight process?

The Fiberight business model involves specialty, custom built front-end processing equipment for the incoming MSW that recovers recyclable materials and converts organic materials to biofuels. While strides have been made to increase recycling, there are still a number of recyclables that remain in household MSW even after diversion by local recycling programs.  We expect that Fiberight’s capture rate for recovering materials will have a large impact on the ability of our member communities as they strive to meet the State of Maine’s proposed recycling rate, which has stayed stagnant for over 20 years despite repeated efforts to raise it.  Following the capture of recyclables, Fiberight capitalizes on the organic material that makes up approximately 40% of MSW.  Through a proprietary accelerated anaerobic digestion process – cooking or boiling down in a manner of speaking – Fiberight converts the MSW to biofuel.  Approximately 80% of incoming material will be recycled or converted to energy or other saleable products.  This amount will likely increase as some of the residuals that were originally thought to be of no value can now be used, for example, as an additive to processed plastics to make briquettes for use as boiler fuels.

A graphic depiction of the Fiberight process can be found here.

Is Fiberight technology new?

The Fiberight process technology is based on European MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment) plants that separate and recover recyclables and organic material from the MSW stream.  There are currently over 330 MBT plants in Europe, with a total of 450 expected by 2020.  There is no one plant in Europe exactly like Fiberight.  However, the technologies being used in the Fiberight Hampden project are tried and true in Europe as stand-alone projects or a mixture of one with another and, they work.  Collectively, these European plants process over 34 million tons of solid waste per year.  For reference, in 2017 PERC processed 300,000 tons per year, and the entire waste to energy sector in the United States processes 29 million tons per year.

Fiberight has operated and continues to operate an integrated demonstration facility in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where it tested its technology.  MBT projects are now being constructed in the United States, for example in Entsorga, West Virginia and Zero Waste in San Jose, California.  Several large private projects have also been announced for construction in the United States with major US waste companies, including the Fiberight project.

What is the relationship between Coastal and Fiberight?

Fiberight, LLC is the parent company that developed and owns the technology for processing mixed MSW to be installed in the facility in Hampden.  They were the original respondent to the RFEI issued by the MRC in 2013; the entity that signed the Development Agreement with the MRC in 2015; and that managed the early stage development of the Hampden project.  Fiberight was also the original signatory to the Site Lease and Master Waste Supply Agreement with the MRC.

Coastal Resources of Maine, LLC is the project company formed by Fiberight to finance, own, and operate the Hampden project.  In these types of projects, it is typical to form a special single-purpose entity to facilitate financing.  Thus, as the project was developed, Fiberight formed Coastal as a limited liability company (LLC), for the single purpose of owning the Hampden project.

At first, Fiberight owned all of Coastal.  Coastal was added as a party to the Site Lease and Master Waste Supply Agreement by agreement with the MRC which had foreseen all of these arrangements and accounted for them in the agreements.  The MRC required Fiberight to stay in the project as a party to these agreements as well.  Then, to raise equity capital for the Hampden project, Fiberight sold off shares in Coastal to an equity investor, Ultra Capital, with the proceeds of the sale being invested in the project.

As a result, today:

  • MRC is landlord of the property upon which the project is located.
  • Coastal is the owner of record of the Hampden facility.
  • Fiberight and Ultra Capital are co-owners of Coastal.
  • Coastal is responsible for paying back construction loans.
  • Coastal and Fiberight are both parties to the Site Lease and Master Waste Supply Agreement with the MRC.
  • Fiberight owns the technology rights.
  • Fiberight is also developing other projects.  If Fiberight is successful in developing a project in X-town, then Fiberight would form a different company, X-town LLC, to own that project.  In that way, Fiberight stays involved in all of its projects, but the individual projects are separated from each other and can be financed and operated separately.
Who will be the owner of the Hampden facility?

The facility is privately owned by Coastal.  Fiberight and Ultra Capital are co-owners of Coastal.

What material will Coastal accept?

Coastal will handle municipal solid waste (MSW) from member communities. some commercial haulers, and, potentially, other cities and towns in Maine if capacity is available.  The facility will accept solid waste that meets the definition of Acceptable Waste found in Exhibit A of the Master Waste Supply Aggreement.  This definition is identical to that included in communities’ previous contracts with PERC. Coastal will not accept any out‐of‐state waste for processing. Coastal will not receive any construction and demolition debris (CDD) or out‐of‐state waste for processing.

What material will Coastal NOT accept?

Just as with PERC, Joining Members are precluded by contract from delivering Unacceptable Waste to the Coastal facility. Joining Members that make such deliveries despite the contractual prohibition will be required to pay the cost of removing and of providing an appropriate manner for disposal of such materials.  This type of contractual provision is standard in the waste industry and is substantially the same as that included in the expired PERC contracts.

Will out-of-state trash be used at the Fiberight facility to fulfill volume?

No.  Out-of-state waste is not allowed per contract language in the Master Waste Supply Agreement and the Site Lease.  In addition, the facility’s DEP permit does not allow for out-of-state deliveries – the MRC and Fiberight did not ask for it to be permitted.

Will Coastal accept single stream recycling?

Coastal will be capable of accepting and processing single stream (no-sort) recyclables.  Member communities must contract separately with Coastal for this service.  A contract between Coastal and communities will be available soon.

My community wants to change our recycling program and implement new diversion programs. Who should I contact?

Shelby Wright is Fiberight’s Director of Community Services.  Her role is to talk about local waste streams and diversion programs with communities and local officials across the MRC territory, MRC members and non-members alike.  She is available at (207) 592-6432 or swright@fiberight.com .

If our local recycling practices become more effective than anticipated, will we be penalized because our Coastal tonnage is lower than what we estimated for the MRC during the planning stages of the project?

No, it would not be penalized.  One of the benefits of the Fiberight process is that it lends itself to recycling and local control.  The contract terms that the MRC negotiated with Fiberight specifically allow towns to continue or expand their existing waste reduction and recycling programs.  The Fiberight facility is designed with the understanding that many member communities will choose this route.  Towns that would like to continue or expand their existing recycling programs will be able to do so.  MRC agreements for the Fiberight facility do not impose requirements to deliver a Guaranteed Annual Tonnage (GAT) of MSW on individual towns, and towns will NOT be liable for penalties for failure to deliver any specific amount of MSW so long as they continue to deliver all MSW under their control to the Fiberight facility.  Communities can continue existing PAYT programs, add new PAYT programs, or add new diversion programs without fear of being penalized individually for delivery shortfalls.

What is my town’s current tipping fee?

The tipping fee for 2018 for Joining Members is $70 per ton.  Per Section 5.1 of the Master Waste Supply Agreement, the tip fee is subject to adjustment as of each January 1 of the term of the agreement to reflect any annual percentage increase in the consumer price index (CPI).

How many years is the tipping fee for?

There is a possible 40-year horizon on the contracted tip fee.  The base fee of $70/ton is for an initial contract term of 15 years. Joining Members have the option of terminating the contract at the end of the 15-year period or contracting for up to five additional 5-year extensions.

How will rebates be calculated?

Rebates will be calculated based on the revenue of Coastal per the formula in Exhibit F  to the Master Waste Supply Agreement (Ditto). That formula includes the tip fees that Coastal collects from MRC members and other entities that choose to send their waste to Coastal.  It also includes revenue from the sale of biogas and recovered recyclables and other products.  It is anticipated that the rebate program will take effect in the fourth year of Coastal operations.  This three-year lag time is deemed sufficient enough at this time by the MRC for Coastal to address any start-up issues they might have with the respective MSW handling processes and to get their gross revenue stream established.

I’m a commercial hauler and want to deliver MSW to Coastal when it opens. Who do I contact at Fiberight to sign-up?

Fiberight is continuing to work with commercial haulers regarding delivery arrangements.   If you, your hauler, or you are a hauler looking for general information, please contact Fiberight Director of Community Services Shelby Wright at (207) 592-6432 or swright@fiberight.com.

What is the MSW swap?

When the regional waste-to-energy facility, MERC, in Biddeford closed in 2012-2013, MSW that would have gone there was trucked to an expanded JRL in Old Town.  This continues to this day. Given the delays to Coastal’s opening, MSW from some MRC communities that would be sent to Crossroads would pass MSW from former MERC communities on the way north to JRL.  This was recognized by the MRC and, on behalf of its members, worked with the DEP, Crossroads, Coastal, and JRL for an MSW swap to be put in place allowing Biddeford area trash to go to Crossroads instead of JRL and MRC community bridge waste to go to JRL instead of south to Crossroads.  The swap is being done on a ton-for-ton basis.  All things considered, this was a win-win situation as it saves on transportation costs for both MERC communities and MRC communities.

Who is paying for the transportation to Crossroads Landfill and Juniper Ridge Landfill given Coastal’s delayed opening?

Anticipating the possibility of not opening as scheduled, the MRC is using contingency funds they budgeted for such a purpose to pay additional costs incurred by a community if the haul distance to Crossroads Landfill or JRL is longer than that to Fiberight.  The communities will only be charged the $70.00 per ton Coastal tip fee. Tip fees at Crossroads Landfill and JRL and additional transportation costs are paid by Coastal.

Where is my community’s waste being sent in the interim?

Click here to view Interim Delivery Locations.

As directed by regulators, the MRC and Fiberight needed to have a secure backup disposal option in the event that the facility would not be open in time or might have to shut down for a period of time, for e.g. scheduled maintenance or equipment failures.  In the event of a delay in startup or a shutdown taking place, the MRC entered into an exclusive agreement as a contingency plan to have the MSW delivered to the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock, Maine.

Earlier this year, the MRC identified the possibility of having bridge MSW go to the Juniper Ridge Landfill (JRL) in Old Town that is owned by the State and operated by Casella.  Working with the DEP, Crossroads and Casella, an agreement was reached allowing the MRC communities to take bridge MSW to JRL.  The arrangements with the two landfills reduced overall additional transportation costs being paid by the MRC by having MSW shipped to the closer of the two landfills relative to its proximity to a particular community.

When will the facility open?

The facility had been scheduled to open on April 1, 2018 as a fully functional MSW processing facility.  An appeal of the DEP permit that was provided to the project resulted in a loss of 235 days to the project that stalled project development, close of financing, and construction.  Once the appeal was thrown out, the project was quickly brought back on track.  Coastal has said that the facility will be ready to begin front end processing of MSW in the fall of 2018, and full processing in early 2019.  During this interim period when Coastal has not opened, (bridge period), MSW is being sent to alternative disposal sites.