10 a.m., Feb. 16)
Waste conversion program back to square one after Plasco
By Fred Sherwin
hope the City of Ottawa had of converting thousands of
tons of garbage to energy suffered a major setback last
week when its one-time partner filed for creditor protection.
gasification technology was supposed to be the panacea
to Ottawa's solid waste management problems. When it was
first sold to Ottawa city council in 2005, the expectation
was for the Plasco plant to process as much as 135,000
tonnes of garbage a year and extend the city's Trail Road
landfill site by 28 years.
spent $125 million of its own money on a test plant in
the city's west end and in 2011 the two parties signed
a 20-year contract to begin turning garbage into energy.
it turns out the Plasco plant encountered problem after
problem as did the company itself. The situtation came
to a head last week when Plasco filled for what is essentially
bankruptcy protection, leaving the City of Ottawa back
at square one.
Mayor Jim Watson susinctly summed up, While its
regrettable the Plasco arrangement did not work out, the
fact is we have to move forward and find other technologies
other than burying garbage in a hole."
city isn't wasting any time in trying to find an answer
to its waste problems. Early last month, a Request for
Information for residual waste management technologies
was issued internationally, generating 37 responses from
as far away as Korea, Japan, Germany and Spain.
the 37 submissions only four firms provided the city with
documentation that demonstrated the operation of a commercial-sized
facility that processes municipal solid waste.
next step in the procurement process would be a Request
for Proposals from the four firms. That process is on
hold, however, until after council receives an update
on the Organic Waste Diversion program, more commonly
called the Geen Bin program. That report is expected later
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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