What we do
- Provide reliable, safe, and economical waste processing and disposal services for members, associate towns, private haulers and local citizens
- Advance the solid waste hierarchy by maximizing the recycling of materials back into their basic raw material state and operating an advanced waste-to-energy facility to minimize the landfilling of waste materials
- Protect the environment through efficient combustion and advanced air pollution control equipment, reduce greenhouse gases by avoiding landfilling of trash which offsets methane production that would have accrued at landfills
- Generate domestic renewable electricity for use in the local electric grid thus offsetting the use of fossil fuel
History and Background
MMWAC, or the Mid-Maine Waste Action Corporation, is a quasi-governmental organization, created as a not-for-profit corporation by twelve area municipalities in 1986. Those municipalities are: Auburn, Bowdoin, Buckfield, Lovell, Minot, Monmouth, New Gloucester, Poland, Raymond, Sumner, Sweden, and Wales. The Board of Directors of the corporation is composed of representatives of each of the twelve municipalities.
MMWAC was created to own and operate a solid waste system for the benefit of these twelve communities. Upon its creation MMWAC undertook a program that led to the replacement of the pioneering Auburn waste-to-energy facility, which had operated since 1981 using the Consumat technology. That plant was replaced with a 200-ton per day mass-burn incinerator, equipped with a 5-megawatt turbine generator, and advanced air pollution control equipment. The MMWAC plant was the last of the four waste-to-energy facilities built in the State and therefore among the most advanced of its type in the Country. Air emissions are controlled with an effective combustion system assuring extremely high burnout and destruction of organics, lime slurry scrubbers to neutralize acid gases, a carbon injection system to remove mercury and organics, and a highly efficient baghouse to remove particulates.
This plant employs an energy recovery technology that complies with Maine’s policy to encourage the following priority in waste management: waste reduction, waste reuse, recycling, waste-to-energy, and landfilling. The majority of municipal solid waste generated in Maine is processed in one of four different waste-to-energy plants. This is in contrast to the early-1980’s and earlier when almost all municipal solid waste in the country was sent to landfills. Waste-to-energy plants were encouraged to reduce the need for landfilling solid waste in order to preserve land for higher uses, to reduce the threat of groundwater pollution from the older landfills, and to recover valuable energy from solid waste.
The MMWAC facility overcame an early history of problems that included equipment malfunctions and insufficient waste supply. Today it has become an industry leader in availability, which is a measure of its ability to operate reliably and at the highest possible capacity. Originally, the plant was projected to achieve an 88% yearly availability, processing 64,000 tons per year of solid waste. The plant has in recent years achieved close to 95% availability and processes just under 70,000 tons per year. As reliability was proven year after year, new communities joined with MMWAC as contract customers to provide for their disposal needs. The plant produces its own electricity from the waste that is incinerated and sells excess power to the local electric grid.
MMWAC also operates a transfer station to efficiently transport construction and demolition waste (C & D) from local businesses and residents, other wastes not appropriate for incineration to secure landfills, and waste exceeding the plants capacity. This facility can process up to 25,000 tons per year. Lastly, MMWAC operates a recycling center for materials delivered by customers, as well as metal recovered from waste sent to the waste-to-energy process, diverting up to 2,000 tons per year from disposal.
MMWAC serves dozens of Maine communities from Bethel to Monmouth, south to Raymond and west to the New Hampshire border.
For more information, you may want to download our brochure MMWAC Brochure Package (709 KB PDF)