1) What is a Resource Recovery Facility and what does it do?
A Resource Recovery Facility processes the municipal solid waste (MSW) to remove recyclables and organics from the waste that have value for recycling. Such items include things like aluminum cans, cardboard, ferrous metal, plastics and organic food waste and green waste. The Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) Resource Recovery Facility takes recycling to a whole new level. The OEC facility separates the MSW into 20 separate categories to allow maximum recycling of all things that have value in the waste stream. We then sequester the organics and using anaerobic digestion, process the wet organic stream to make energy from the captured methane and soil amendments. OEC can also provide high-quality food and green waste for composting programs.Hide Answer
2) Why does our city need a facility like this?
Currently, most cites bury the municipal solid waste (MSW) once it is collected. Some cities have a curbside recycling programs, which require more cans and more collection trucks. Even the most established multiple can collection systems however, still only recover 50% or less of the total recyclable items in the waste stream, with the remainder going into landfills. It normally takes many years to educate the public and implement a multiple can recycling system. In newer multiple can collection systems the recovery rate of recyclable material is as low as 5%. In addition, the carbon foot print and cost for multiple trucks to pick up different cans at the same house is extremely high. The Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) Resource Recovery Facility allows the city to use one truck to pick up all the MSW in one can. We then sort all of the waste with up to 95%+ capture rate of all the recyclables in the waste stream. This allows the city to dramatically reduce their collection costs, disposal costs, and carbon footprint. The facility also creates jobs and returns revenue to the city.Hide Answer
3) Is the City going to help finance the cost of this plant?
Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) normally does not ask for any money from the city to build their projects. OEC finances, designs, builds, owns and operates the facility and shares revenue with the City. Because we would be in a public private partnership with the city, if the city wishes to take a role in any aspect of financing, building, or operating the facility, we work with them to customize a project that works best for the city.Hide Answer
4) What's wrong with burying our trash in a landfill? Isn't it garbage?
Burying trash in a landfill is wrong in so many ways! First, there is a finite amount of space available for landfills. Second, there are significant methane releases from landfills throughout the life of the landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes 21 times more to global warming and climate change than carbon dioxide. Even landfills that try to capture the methane for reuse cannot capture the methane until that particular cell of the landfill is capped. Many landfills make no attempt to capture the methane at all.
Burying trash is also a huge waste of resources. Based on US EPA data and 2011 commodity prices, the direct economic value of the average US solid waste stream is $100/ton. For a city or region, 10,000 tons per day of solid waste, this is $1,000,000 per day of resources thrown away and buried. The OEC system can recover this material and the economic gain of reusing the materials greatly exceeds the cost of recovery. In addition, hundreds of jobs are created and new industries can relocate and develop next to a resource recovery facility to better utilize the materials produced. The total economic impact of recovering the material can be dramatic!Hide Answer
5) What do you mean by recyclable? What else is in the garbage?
Recyclables are items that can be recovered from the solid waste stream that have value and can be reused to make new products. Examples are aluminum cans, paper, plastic, and other metals. All of these items have a commodity value and they are bought and sold every day in the United States and throughout the world.
There are many things in the garbage of value. The Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) process separates the incoming garbage or solid waste into 20 different material categories. The high-value recyclables are sold into the open market or directly to firms that manufacture them into new products. Other things in the solid waste have lower value like wet organic material, food waste, green waste, textiles, urban wood, glass, rocks, stones, etc. Some items like the wet organics can be processed using anaerobic digestion to make methane and soil amendments or they can be composted. Other items like wood and textiles can be converted to energy depending on local conditions. Some items like soil, rocks, and other inorganic materials will still need to be sent to the landfill but are benign after separation from organics.Hide Answer
6) What harmful effects could this plant bring to the surrounding neighborhood?
The Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) resource recovery facility reduces the effects of existing landfills on the surrounding neighborhoods, most notably by reducing emissions from the landfill. Why? The organics decomposing are what generate the nasty smells – no organics in the landfill means no more smells or leaking dangerous Methane gas.
The same number of garbage trucks will be entering and leaving as before but there will be some additional traffic leaving the facility with commodities and materials to be sold and reused. This is minor when compared with the capture of methane and organics.
The entire resource recovery facility is in an enclosed building and the conversion technologies are enclosed, as well. The overall air quality is improved because of the lack of methane and organics and is noticeably better in the neighborhood.Hide Answer
7) Does this plant provide any jobs to the community?
One Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) resource recovery facility processing 2,000 tons per day will directly employ more than 100 full time positions. These jobs will range from line sorters, to equipment operators, truck drivers, engineers, mangers and accounting staff. There are also many more indirect jobs created with the truck drivers who deliver the recovered recyclables to the commodity markets and new businesses that can locate next to our facilities to begin direct reuse or remanufacturing of the recyclables into new products.Hide Answer
8) Aren't there hazardous wastes coming into the plant?
In the United States, most solid waste streams include a small percentage of household hazardous waste. The US EPA estimates this at 0.3% of the total waste stream. These items include things people throw away such as paint, aerosol cans, batteries, etc. This material is separated from the solid waste as part of our process. The material is then disposed of in an approved manner with the city. Without the Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) process, most of these materials are dumped in the landfill and contribute to pollution of the soil and water.Hide Answer
9) Where do all the recyclables go?
After separation, the high value recyclable materials are sold into the open commodities markets. OEC is also working with manufacturers for direct sale to local companies who can then manufacture new products at the point of generation further increasing local jobs and reducing the carbon footprint of trucking materials to far away destinations. Methane captured from the organics can be sold directly into the local natural gas facilities.Hide Answer
10) Will my fees to pick up the garbage increase?
They shouldn't because only one truck is needed for collection so the city is saving money. Normally, there is enough revenue generated from the recovery of materials in the solid waste to pay for the facilities and share revenue with the city without increasing fees to pick up garbage.Hide Answer