Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 21, 2013

SIDEBAR: Kokomo said no to waste-to-energy

City officials considered trash volumes, technology.

LOGANSPORT — Kokomo has in the past considered a similar option to the one currently being negotiated by Logansport and the proposed power plant’s developer, but ultimately determined the amount of trash required, among other factors, would not provide a suitable outcome.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said over the last few years, the city has considered alternative uses for its municipal solid waste out of a desire to reduce its landfill tipping fees. He said one of these options included developing a plant to use the waste to create electricity. It was ultimately determined the city and others in the area wouldn’t be able to produce enough to supply a realistic option.

“A lot of it came down to volumes to make their businesses work,” he said. “We really couldn’t find the right fit. I can’t speak on Logansport... Our motivation was the money we were spending on landfill tipping fees. Logansport has its own electrical utility. It’s a different motivating factor.”

Kokomo City Engineer Carey Stranahan agreed with Goodnight both on the count that Logansport’s motivation is different from Kokomo’s and that it was ultimately determined the requirements for making these kinds of facilities work could not be met in a worthwhile way, at least for Kokomo.

“Most of the time when you look at those types of facilities, the demand for the municipal solid waste is a lot higher than the supply is,” he said, adding that proposals to the city required about 1,500 tons per day for their facilities when Kokomo itself only produces about 100 tons per day.

Even after exploring acquiring more waste from surrounding cities, it was determined a waste-to-energy option for Kokomo still would not be worthwhile. He did not wish to say which companies the city met with, but said the meetings were informal and money was never spent conducting official analyses.

“You can find trash,” Stranahan said. “If you want 1,500 tons a day, you can get it... It’s a great idea and I’d love to see it come to fruition.”

However, he said companies’ perceived outlooks on what their pilot facilities were capable of were not enough to persuade city officials that a reasonable option for Kokomo could be attained.

“There’s a lot of theory out there and a lot of things that have worked on a small scale but you haven’t seen one type of technology come to the surface as being the best,” Stranahan said. “There isn’t a lot of large scale implementation of these waste-to-energy programs or projects... We perceived some risk in that.”

There were 86 waste-to-energy plants in operation in the United States in 2010, according to the latest data provided by the Energy Recovery Council, a national trade organization representing the waste-to-energy industry. One has been in operation in Indianapolis since 1988 and is owned by Covanta Energy, which owns similar facilities across the world.

Pyrolyzer, which uses a process called pyrolysis to heat feedstock into a gas that will power turbine engines to create electricity, has seen its design come to fruition in two cases in Germany, both much smaller than the plant being proposed for Logansport. The first is a four-ton-per-day facility that has been operated solely for 10 to 15 tests per year since 1999. The second was completed in 2002 and required 37 tons of feedstock per day. It ran for 1,600 hours before its contract was canceled after the customer ran short of funds. The company is also currently developing plants in Georgia, Utah and the Bahamas, all much smaller than the plant being proposed for Logansport.

Despite the fact that Pyrolyzer has never achieved anything on this scale, the study team’s project manager Alvaro Almuina and others involved in the project say the individual elements making up the entire process all work.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel here,” Almuina said. “We’re dealing with proven technologies.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042114 fema relief 1.jpg No relief in sight: FEMA decisions frustrate leaders KOKOMO -- Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister blew out

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Panel to talk public power Wednesday Three men with careers in and backgrounds with the energy industry will speak about public power at a Wednesday event organized by opponents of Logansport's power plant project. The free event was organized by the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible E

    April 21, 2014

  • Email, Internet knocked out at Miami Co. Courthouse PERU -- Basic government services were put on hold for the second time in nearly two months in Miami County after a massive server failure once again knocked out Internet and email access in most departments and offices. The crash hit early the week

    April 21, 2014

  • Grant will increase technology at Ivy Tech The Logansport campus of Ivy Tech Community College along with high schools and career centers in the area stand to see benefits in industrial technology education from a multi-million-dollar grant recently awarded by the federal government. The U.S.

    April 21, 2014

  • NWS-PT042014 Monk String-MAK Local Lao-Thai celebration brings 'new year, new life' Five Buddhist monks sat cross-legged on the stage of the Cass County Memorial Home Saturday morning, draped in orange robes, their hair cropped close to their heads. Those in attendance sat and knelt on rugs before them, many wearing sashes over thei

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Hospital CEO calls for growth Logansport Memorial Hospital's president and CEO said the facility will continue with its goals for growth in his State of the Hospital address Friday. Among the hospital's goals for 2013 were to preserve existing net revenues and resources, achieve

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT042014 ballistics vest.jpg Protective investment: Family donates dog's bulletproof vest A local family recently donated a bulletproof vest to protect the Cass County Sheriff's Department's new canine, Kurby. Dr. Gerhardt Winkel III, his wife Stephanie and their children Elizabeth and Benjamin donated the vest because Kurby is a Belgian

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 miami co crash.jpg Two injured in Miami County crash PERU -- Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19. According to a preliminary crash investigation by Indiana State Police, Rachael Pegg, 23, Mexico, was driving a 2002 Oldsmobile Intr

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 smith retirement.jpg Pastor retiring after 36 years After 36 years at Logansport First Church of the Nazarene, the Rev. Dr. Horace Smith thinks it's time to call it quits. Smith is preaching his last sermon next Sunday as the church's pastor. He and wife Linda Smith plan to remain in Logansport, which

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 19, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 19, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition