The facilities’ state-of-the-art recycling facility in Hampden is a powerful asset for Maine – positioning it as a national leader in next-generation waste processing, protecting Maine’s renowned natural resources, and using environmental business as an economic engine to lower costs to residents, create jobs, and make Maine businesses more competitive.
As the first next generation recycling facility in the country, the facility uses its innovative process to help eliminate household sorting. This method of recycling will increase the level of municipal solid waste diverted from landfills from the typical 10-30% to 60-80% thereby preserving dwindling landfill space for true waste with no beneficial reuse and keeping disposal costs low for residents.
Speaking of reuse, the facility is the first recycling facility in the US with an integrated pulper. During the recovery process plastics, metals, and cardboard are recycled. The remaining mixture of trash and paper is treated with water and the paper breaks down into pulp. By going to pulping, the facility can recycle all the fiber-based materials including items like dirty paper plates, coffee cups, and pizza boxes. These can then be washed and put toward beneficial reuse such as renewable natural gas. The renewable gas is used to power the facility, offsetting fossil fuels. In the future, it could also be used locally as a natural gas substitute to lower Maine’s carbon footprint.
Converting Solid Waste to Energy
HOW IT WORKS:
- Municipal Solid Waste is delivered.
- A first sort removes unsuitable waste, such as inert materials and large bulky items
- A state of the art separation system recovers curbside-type recyclables from food waste and other organics in the waste stream
- What’s left after sorting is pulped and converted.
- Once the recyclables are removed, the rest of the waste is pulped and remaining plastics are separated from pulped organic materials
- The organic pulp is washed to remove contaminants and dirty water is sent to out anaerobic digester to generate biogas and clean the water
- Clean pulp may then be used to make new paper products, biomass fuel, or converted into sugars
- The system is able to process the clean pulp by using bio-catalysts to break down natural carbohydrates into liquid sugars
- These liquid sugars may either be processed into biogas by our anaerobic digester or fermented into biofuels.
- Wastewater is handled on site and re-used in our process.
- Once renewable fuel production is complete, a digestate fiber is available for compost or to be pelletized for energy recovery.
Recycling with the facility ensures mainstream recyclables like paper, plastic and metal, inadvertently tossed in the trash are recovered rather than buried in a landfill.
The facility’s team focuses on transforming municipal solid waste (MSW) into green energy products by recovering everyday recyclable materials and converting what’s left into products such as biogas and biofuel.
Our Hampden, Maine project will change the way Maine deals with its trash.