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Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency mulls waste-to-fuel plan

Daily Freeman News: Entsorga North America Proposes Turning Solid Waste into Renewable Fuel

TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. >> Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency board members are being pitched on the use of a proposed facility that would turn solid waste into fuel.

At an agency board meeting last week, Entsorga North America spokesman Dennis Soriano took an hour to describe the process, handing out small bags with specks of plastic, paper and cloth materials that would be burned as fuel.

“This is an opportunity for you to look at what you might want to do down the road in terms of how you might want to handle your solid waste, how you might want to partner with other authorities (and) other counties in the area, and look at the potential for a long-term plan,” he said.

Soriano said the technology his firm would use sorts and shreds materials to accommodate particular types of fuel needs.

“You could supplement this fuel with regular diesel fuel,” he said. “It depends on the plant and how it’s set up.”

Soriano said two plants of up to 55,000 square feet each are being proposed in northern New Jersey and upstate New York, but he declined to identify the specific locations. He estimated the plants would cost about $23 million to construct.

“Both of those will probably go to permitting applications ... in the first quarter of 2017,” he said.

Developers expect the New York facility would handle up to 300,000 tons of solid waste per year, while the New Jersey facility would accept about 130,000 tons annually. The expectation is that 30-50 percent of the waste could be converted into fuel, 3-10 percent could be recycled for metal and plastic products, and 15-20 percent would have other beneficial uses, including composting.

Soriano said Entsorga is an Italian-based company that has seven facilities in Europe and one under construction in Martinsburg, http://W.Va.

According a report in the Herald-Mail newspaper, that facility broke ground in December on a former landfill site, with the company paying $3.6 million over 30 years to the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority as a lease. The company was reported to have also secured a $25 million bond through a state agency.

Soriano told Ulster County trash agency officials that part of his presentation was to spur interest in working with the company to build more facilities.

“If we partner with somebody, we’ll build, finance and operate the plant ourselves and work out an agreement ... whether it’s a private hauler, or the authority or whatever,” he said. “We’ll license the technology and provide all the engineering support necessary to build a facility if someone wants to do that. ... We’ll do a public-private partnership with an agency or an independent person.”

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