State officials began Thursday registering people interested in testifying about a plan to change trash-handling rules that would close Biddeford’s MERC, the Maine Energy incinerator and send that trash to the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection put out the call Thursday for people, companies, local governments and special interest groups hoping to testify about the plan to change Maine’s trash-handling policy.

Those interested in having “intervener” status need to notify Policy Director Heather Parent before 5 p.m. Dec. 7.

Interveners, according to the DEP, can either be people who will be affected by the change or other federal, state or local government agencies. They will be allowed to formally testify on the proposed changes.

The hearing has not been scheduled, but will likely be set for sometime next year.

The application centers on where Maine-generated solid waste, about 89,400 tons, should go once Biddeford’s MERC closes. The amendment would send it directly to the Casella-managed Juniper Ridge Landfill, bypassing other Maine incinerators like Auburn-based Mid-Maine Waste Action Corp.


MMWAC officials say that would put an end to years of policy that favored burning trash instead of landfilling.

A state policy, called the hierarchy of solid waste, sends municipal solid waste to landfills as a last resort. That policy urges residents to reduce what they throw away, and recycle and compost what they can. The rest should be burned in a waste-to-energy incinerator. The resulting ash, along with anything that cannot be burned, should be sent to a landfill.

Those interested in testifying can send their petitions via postal mail to Parent at 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333; via email to [email protected]; or via hand delivery to the DEP’s offices at 28 Tyson Drive in Augusta.

[email protected]

Juniper Ridge solid waste intervenor notice

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