54,000,000 pounds of "carpet-like material" litter an abandoned gun range. Credit: Lauren Abbate / BDN
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Want some free carpet? Or “carpet-like material,” whatever that is? Well, you’re in luck. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting proposals from companies willing to remove 27,000 tons of it from an abandoned gun range in Warren, Maine. Better yet, there’s up to $250,000 on the table for taking this stuff off the DEP’s hands.

The mountains of carpet-like material arrived on the site around 1998, when the DEP allowed the owner of the rifle range to bring in the materials from Auburn. Steamship Navigation, which owned the rifle range, claimed the material was going to be used as berms to stop bullets from going off the property.

But the berm project was never completed, and soon after the materials arrived, the property owners seemingly disappeared.

The quote above is from an article in The Bangor Daily News, which includes further information on previous attempts to remove this waste and put the land to use. You know, like for something other than “carpet-like material” storage. All 54 million pounds of it.

HERE’s the contact info for Maine DEP if you’re looking for a project.


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  1. isn’t there a machine that can shred that stuff and then recycle the material into something else? such as insulated bricks or such?

  2. “Carpet like material”. What is it actually? Something that could safely be recycled for some other purpose or hazardous material in need of careful handling and disposal? Sounds like the range was used as a dump site as a cheap alternative to responsible disposal.

    • I wouldn’t open a range these days if you put a gun to my head. No way. Been a pipe dream of mine for a while too and I’ve researched it heavily.

      • Maybe a personal shooting club with the range on private property in unincorporated space. It’s not an incorporated rifle range per-se… just a club that is invite only.

      • If you invite people to shoot then be prepared for the liabilities of stupid and careless ones, too. I took to regularly wearing body armor on indoor/outdoor ranges around strangers. All it took was one unsupervised minor shooting off a round after “all clear” was called while checking targets and a few suicidal nuts on the indoor ranges.

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if an extra zero creeped in.
    At 10 ton truck loads that would be 2700 truck loads dropped off initially.
    The video doesn’t give a great view of the extent.

    • On Google Earth it looks like a pile over 200 feet long and around 60 feet wide at it’s widest point. But there is a lot of vegetation growing in and around it, so it could be more extensive than that. 44.105461°N 69.263527°W.

  4. I think it was a scam. Like the owners took payment from someone looking to dump this trash, duped the environmental guys with a story that it was burm material, and skipped town.

    It makes sense; has anyone seen burms at an outdoor range made of anything other than dirt?

    • I tend to agree. Especially after reading this line in the linked story:

      “But the berm project was never completed, and soon after the materials arrived, the property owners seemingly disappeared.”

    • I’ve entertained building a composite berm from old stumps, construction waste (wood only) and lots of dirt. Then again, 20 tons of old cabin =/= a landfill of “carpet like material”

  5. Gonna cost a hell of a lot more than a 1/4 mil to move AND dispose of that crap… Why not try to sell it off as fill, if its solid material and environmentally safe it might be useful as fill on construction sites… $250,000 would’nt cover the cost of leasing/renting the cranes needed to load that stuff…

    • If I was a contractor I wouldn’t touch that “fill” if Maine paid me and got it to me for free. How do I know what the compaction dynamics of this stuff is like? What kind of drainage/sinkhole/water quality problems would I invite by using this? The list goes on ..

  6. Yeah, I don’t see 250k as being nearly enough. The stuff hasn’t even been identified; after 20+ years it’s obviously not biodegradable. Beyond the pickup and hauling, you still have to find some place that will accept it.

  7. Definitely a scam to dump material. Did some quick digging and apparently Maine DEP got someone to commit to removing it.
    Also it is quite sizable, even from space. Google…Warren, Maine….goto map….follow 90 east towards coast away from Warren and you will see it.

      • This little conversation between you two makes me think of the folks that believe being in the country up a dirt road will protect them from SHTF.

        The eye in the sky is real.

        • Yep, this is why I don’t cut down too many trees and underbrush; it keeps Google out of my back yard and they can’t see anything with line of sight blocked. Although now there are radio based cameras that can see right into people homes. Unfortunately I was too slow with painting a barn roof and the shinny metal roof is lightly visible through the canopy.

          Tbh, I have just started a project on Google earth to map out where all the hunting outfitters are in Idaho; likewise overlaying population density, and historical animal populations, so I know where to look for ideal land with minimal people and maximum hunting. Most structures will be built under the ground and quickly too so the disturbed earth doesn’t get captures on the maps.

      • Holy crap. Looking at that again, it’s about 2 miles SW of my house – never knew it was there.

        I seriously doubt that was ever going to be a shooting range. Pretty clearly just an unauthorized dumping ground.

    • Doubt anyone signed off on that – plenty of neighbors knew about it, though. Can’t believe they wouldn’t notice hundreds (thousands?) of truckloads of crap being dumped next door.

  8. I’ve seen places like this while I was visiting Poland, it’s where their Air Force practiced carpet bombing.

  9. The most terrible thing is that humanity doesn’t understand the danger people create by their indifference to Earth’s protection. I am a student, and my favourite lesson is biology. It is due to the “green” essays about our environment I found on https://envrexperts.com/ when searching for a service to help me with my writing assignments. The best writers from the Envrexperts source grew my interest in recycling and taking care of our planet and our acts that damage Earth by throwing garbage and other no reasonable human deeds.

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