'Solid waste to energy' proposal moves forward

CPP files for EPA permit

CLEVELAND - A long-studied "solid waste to energy" proposal by the City of Cleveland is moving forward.

After fours years of study, Cleveland Public Power has filed an application for an air permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to CPP Commissioner Ivan Henderson, the permit is the first step in the development of a financing and construction plan for the facility.

The project is estimated to cost $180 million and would make Cleveland the first city in the US to implement new green technologies which turn residents curbside garbage into solid and gas fuels.

"Ninety-five percent of the city's municipal solid waste would no longer go to the landfill," Henderson said.

Henderson told NewsChannel5 the 'solid waste to energy' proposal has a number of components including:

  • Expansion of Cleveland's pilot recycling program city wide with a new emphasis on monetizing recycled materials.
  • Construction of a state-of-the-art material recovery and sorting facility.
  • Converting organic refuse into fuel pellets that could be burned like coal.
  • Gasification of the remaining solid waste to produce syngas, similar to natural gas.

According to CPP, the process would result in the utility generating approximately 10 percent of it's annual power output. Currently, CPP buys 99 percent of its annual power.

CPP estimates the 'solid waste to energy' facility would save an estimated $10 million each year in landfill and transport costs (tipping fees). Not having to purchase the power generated by the facility would save another $10 million to $12 million annually.

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