- Sandy City, UT plans to terminate its contract with Navitus Renewable Industries for a proposed $120 million waste-to-energy facility after years of planning due to compliance issues and questions of the technology's viability, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.
- The company entered into a contract with the city three years ago to build a facility which would have separated out recyclables and converted up to 350 tons of waste per day into natural gas using pyrolysis. The gas would then be fed into internal combustion engines to generate energy.
- During the approval process, Navitus was required to pay rent and maintenance costs for the 5.5 acres it planned to use. City officials have cited a failure to meet some of these financial obligations and maintain regular communication as reasons for ending the contract.
Some environmental advocacy groups had said this plan was too good to be true, but Sandy City officials had been excited about the potential to go fully "zero waste." Though when a permitting process that usually takes months dragged out over multiple years, Navitus executives said they were having trouble keeping investors interested and relations began to deteriorate. Regulators said the delay was due to this being a first-of-its-kind facility.
Navitus does operate a North Carolina facility in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, though this facility processes mainly wood biomass which is less complex than municipal solid waste. While new resource recovery projects are moving ahead in Hawaii and Maine, other ideas for using different technology or methods have been unsuccessful in recent years. Barring a major turnaround from Navitus it looks like this project may join that list of failed ideas.
Sandy City will be sending written notice of the compliance issues to Navitus and if the company doesn't address them within 15 days, the contract will be officially terminated.