ERC Submits Comments to EPA on Measuring MSW Trends

The Energy Recovery Council filed comments this week on EPA’s notice seeking input on measuring waste generation, recovery, and disposal in the United States. EPA has for years relied upon data generated by the Franklin Institute which estimated the amount of waste generated in the United States based on manufacturing data. Due to inherent flaws in this process which leads to the gross underestimation of waste generation, the ERC has relied upon the data published by BioCycle/Columbia University in its biannual State of the Garbage in America, which relies on data reported by state agencies. ERC’s comments are intended to drive EPA to reporting-based data. In addition, ERC recommends that they begin to track all types of waste, not just traditional municipal solid waste.

Minneapolis WTE Facility Earns SWANA Award

The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) has received a Waste-to-Energy Excellence Award at the Gold level from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management. HERC, located in downtown Minneapolis, provides reliable, renewable electricity that is sold to Xcel Energy and steam that supplies the downtown district energy system and Target Field. HERC is owned by Hennepin County and operated by Covanta Energy. To earn the award, HERC was judged on a wide variety of criteria, including engineering and technology, operational performance and efficiency, environmental compliance, aesthetics, other recycling and solid waste management programs in the county, public relations and education, and innovation and creativity. HERC is situated in a unique and highly visible urban location. With the construction of Target Field, new light rail, commuter rail and other mass transit projects, and residential and commercial redevelopment efforts, the neighborhood around the HERC has changed significantly since operations began more than 20 years ago.  The county has also worked with community partners to ensure that HERC continues to be a good neighbor and an integral part of downtown redevelopment.

Grenada Considering Waste-to-Energy

The Government of Grenada (GoG) through the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) invites submissions of expression of interest to establish a waste-to-energy facility on the island of Grenada. GSWMA is responsible for the collection of domestic solid waste throughout Grenada. A 2009 study that examined options for waste disposal, among other things in Grenada, gave support to a waste-to-energy thrust. Interested parties may consider and submit any appropriate technology and any commercial arrangement within the confines of existing policy and legislation. The venture will include researching, sourcing, construction, installation and commissioning of a suitable and appropriate waste to energy technology in Grenada as a means of effectively dealing with applicable fractions of the municipal solid waste stream. The GoG wishes to have an operational waste to energy facility by the fourth quarter of 2015 and intends to choose a suitable waste to energy partner by the third quarter of 2012. For more information on how to submit an expression of interest, please visit: http://www.gswma.com/download/IEOI_Grenada.pdf.

Arizona Takes Steps to Make WTE Renewable

The Arizona Corporation Commission this week approved Mohave Electric Cooperative's request to count the electricity from a waste-to-energy facility toward its renewable-energy goals. The commission requires utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and to additionally reduce their power demand by 22 percent by 2020 through conservation. Mohave, a tiny, non-profit distribution utility in northwestern Arizona, asked for the waiver to make electricity from trash because that type of unit was not initially included in the Commission's program.  The commission voted 3-2 in favor of Mohave's request.

Durham WTE Facility Given Green Light by Ontario Ministry of Environment

The Durham Region (Ontario, Canada) has been given the green light by the province to begin construction of its waste-to-energy facility. Council approval is still required before construction starts on the energy-from-waste facility that will handle up to 140,000 tons of Durham and York Region garbage per year. That’s likely to happen at a special meeting in July, after councillors review staff reports and conditions attached to the certificate of approval just issued by the Ministry of the Environment. It covers operational requirements for air, noise, waste and storm water. Calling the ministry’s decision on the waste-to-energy facility “historic,” regional chair Roger Anderson said Durham is poised to become a “provincial leader in the area of waste management.” Residents expect a clean and safe facility, “and that’s how we intend to build it,” he said. Roger Anderson was a keynote speaker at NAWTEC this year in Lancaster. Covanta, which will build and operate the facility, is expected to begin construction this fall.