Daily Digest: BioHiTech's landfill alternative moving forward in New York
In the Daily Digest, the Waste Dive team rounds up insights and moments you may have missed.
EUROPEAN TECH HITS UPSTATE NEW YORK
The Rensselaer City Planning Commission in New York recently gave unanimous approval for BioHiTech Global's new $35 million High Efficiency Biological Treatment (HEBioT) facility. The project is now awaiting final permit approval from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. If all proceeds according to plan, the Times Union reports BioHiTech aims to begin construction next year and start operations by 2020.
The company has exclusive development rights to this technology from Entsorga Italia for 11 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. BioHiTech estimates the New York project could generate approximately $12 million in annual revenue when processing 165,000 tons per year. As described by the company, this process can convert about 40% of MSW into a solid recovered fuel for use in cement kilns, steel mills, power plants and "other industrial applications."
The first U.S. HEBioT facility — which BioHiTech also has a stake in — is currently ramping up operations in West Virginia. While landfills and waste-to-energy combustion facilities still dominate the market when it comes to handling large volumes of MSW, this Entsorga technology is one of multiple that aims to change that equation. Other examples of projects commonly mentioned alongside the Entsorga method include projects by Fiberight in Maine, RePower in South Carolina and Alabama, and Enerkem in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Consultants and investors have been watching them for years — and some are still skeptical — but there is a growing sense these types of projects could usher in a new era of technology to the U.S. that has already been working overseas.
IN OTHER NEWS
Gerald Houston, a 45-year-old sanitation worker, was killed on the job in Gray, Louisiana yesterday morning. Houston was outside of the vehicle when he was struck by a pick-up truck and later pronounced dead at the scene. His employer has not been identified. According to Louisiana State Police, impairment is not a suspected factor but the pick-up operator was said to be "driving fatigued prior to the collision."
In Columbia Township, Michigan — about an hour later that same morning — a pick-up truck pulling a camper rear-ended a Modern Waste truck. One worker was temporarily pinned between the vehicles and was hospitalized for critical injuries. While the pick-up was totaled, both passengers only sustained minor injuries. According to Michigan State Police, the pick-up driver said "blinding sunlight" blocked his vision prior to the crash.
QRS Recycling's days are officially done in Maryland — Resource Recycling
A once-promising mixed plastics processing facility in Maryland will now be dismantled for parts. The facility opened in 2015 in partnership with Canusa Hershman and was among the Closed Loop Fund's initial investments. It served as a key destination for mixed plastics along the East Coast until it was idled in Aug. 2017. Given China's ban on mixed plastic imports, and the relative lack of end markets for many parts of the U.S., some had hoped that this facility could see new life. QRS exited the partnership in Nov. 2017, but there was talk of new financial interest earlier this year.
Tennessee county officials take composting field trip — Daily News Journal
The Rutherford County Commission voted against taking steps toward potentially expanding the Middle Point Landfill owned by Republic Services earlier this year, while recognizing they would need to act quickly since the site will reach capacity in less than a decade. At the time, politics and concerns about environmental burden from importing material to the Murfreesboro site, appeared to cloud judgment on how to proceed. Now, the county's new mayor is looking for different options. Over the weekend he chartered a bus to take dozens of officials to tour Sevier County's $25 million composting operation. Many were encouraged by what they heard, and the topic could potentially see new interest back in Rutherford.
Seoul aims to cut plastic waste 50% by 2022 — The Korea Herald & Yonhap News Agency
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the latest in a series of proposals to reduce plastic waste by targeting residential, commercial and institutional generation. The South Korean capital plans to begin requiring separate plastic waste collection at households; will ban plastic cups and bags at Seoul City Hall and other government buildings; and is phasing in bans on plastic cups and straws at food establishments. This plan will also aim to designate "plastic-free" funeral homes, as single-use plastics are apparently very common for funerals. These are just some of many proposed policies that have been set with a goal of eventually achieving a 70% citywide recycling rate.
SEEN & HEARD
Reminder: tomorrow, September 20 is the deadline for the #BetterBinNYC competition. If you have a great idea to redesign the NYC litter basket, make sure you’re following the design and submission requirements. Learn more about submitting your idea at https://t.co/Aczzxqn413 pic.twitter.com/Ma1TOxQIdY— NYC Sanitation (@NYCSanitation) September 19, 2018
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