Waste to Energy Overview

The overall process is divided into three basic steps. The feedstock will include municipal solid waste and waste water treatment plant sludge.

After separating and re-manufacturing the recyclables for market, the remaining material is processed at high temperature. This material is not incinerated. A variety of materials can result from the cellulose conversion process, such as sugars, distilled alcohol fuels such as ethanol and butanol, and clean water. There are no emissions from the process.

The technology has been reviewed by scientists and insurance companies who confirm the ability of this process to convert MSW into energy and useful chemicals.

The proposed plant has no emissions to speak of. Any methane or carbon dioxide produced are captured, compressed, liquefied and sold. The plant discharges no liquids, so there would be no groundwater contamination.

The appropriate federal environmental regulatory agencies are aware of the process and see no need for special permits. Many of the permits would be updates to existing permits for the plant site.

Of course, for things which cannot be processed, such as construction debris, landfills will still be used, but that will not impact the “greenness” of this project. Being able to produce energy and useable water, without generating any emissions, would definitely make the facility a “Green Tech Industry” for this area to brag about.

In addition to the positive environmental and economic impacts, there are other benefits to a community which is an achievement of up to a 95% recycling rate.

 

Key Points

  • Clean process, no emissions, no smokestacks
  • Once wasted material is now used for energy and other products
  • Process is environmentally friendly
  • Existing technology is being leveraged in new ways
  • Communities that are involved benefit in many ways

 

Waste to Energy Frequently Asked Questions

► Will the trash smell?

The manufacturing source material will not smell because it doesn't "sit around" like it would in a landfill. As soon as the waste comes into our facility, it's moved into the process of being re-manufactured. The process is a closed looped system which is not vented.

 

► Why don't you just use corn to make energy?

The RRI system that we are using is much more practical for the making of energy. When energy is produced from corn it hurts our food supply and drives up prices. In order to grow the corn we use other valuable materials such as land and water. When energy is produced from waste a useless product is turned into a valuable commodity.

 

► How are you going to control the water runoff?

The entire process is enclosed so there will be no runoff from the process.

 

► Will the number of trucks in the area increase?

Yes, the same type of trucks that now serve the Raytheon road transfer station will serve our facility.

 

► What air emissions will the plant produce?

The RRI process is a near-zero emissions system. Reclaimed Resources believes in preserving our environment and we are making every effort to build a clean facility.

 

► Do you have permits on the local, state, and federal level?

We have worked very closely with all levels on developing this plant, and the process is proceeding smoothly.

 

► What permits are required from TDEC?

Air, water, and transfer station permits are required.

 

► Are you like any other company in this area?

Our plant cannot be compared to any other facility in this area. This is one of the first facilities in the United States of its kind. We must meet a very strict set of guidelines that landfills do not have to meet.

 

► How will the MSW be handled?

The plant is a continuous process facility and will completely consume each delivery to the plant. There will be no collection or storage of untreated waste.

 

► Is there any waste left to dispose of?

There will be a minor volume of residual material left, approximately 3-5% depending upon the characteristics of the material used in the process. This material will be disposed of in the local landfill and is rendered biologically inert from the process.

 

► How much local municipal waste is required?

750 tons per day.

 

► How far is the service area for 750 tons a day?

60 miles

 

► What form of energy is required to run the plant?

The facility will be operated with natural gas and electricity.

 

► What happens to non usable material like tires and concrete?

We recycle these materials if possible and all other materials are disposed of responsibly.

 

► What happens to MSW if the plant is down for repair?

Due to the redundancy and maintenance schedules the entire plant will not be scheduled for complete shutdown.

 

► Do environmentalist support this facility?

Yes.