The technology at MWS has many advantages compared with other alternatives reviewed by the MRC. Of particular note are the following:
- The facility converts organic wastes into high-value products without needing a new region-wide system to collect organic materials separately from other wastes.
- The 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, it 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.
- MWS’ 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.