Waste-to-energy plan mulled

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AUGUSTA -- That bag of trash you leave curbside or take to the Hatch Hill landfill today could end up powering your diesel pickup truck in the future.

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Birds swirl around the compactor at Hatch Hill landfill on Tuesday afternoon in Augusta. City officials are in discussions about a trash to diesel facility at the site

Staff photo by Joe Phelan
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City officials are in discussions with a Texas-based waste-to-energy company that proposes to build a $20 million plant at Hatch Hill to convert trash into diesel fuel.

Councilors meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at Augusta City Center and are scheduled to hear a presentation on the idea.

The proposal could double the remaining life span of Hatch Hill by diverting half of the waste it receives to the proposed, on-site diesel-producing plant, officials say.

Lesley Jones, Augusta's director of public works, said the technology is being used in other states and around the world.

"This is an exciting idea and if the details can be worked out, it will prolong the life of the landfill and take trash and convert it to diesel fuel," Jones said. "In short, if this becomes a reality, we would have to change our ideas about traditional recycling, as most of the waste we generate, trash and today's recyclables, would be processed through the facility. Not having to handle a large recycling stream and securing a viable energy generating solid waste disposal solution would likely save everyone money in the long term."

Keith Edwards
Article Source: 
KJ Online