July 24, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters from Wednesday, July 24, 2013


---- — Please, make mea believer in proposal

I want to believe in Pyrolyzer LLC. Please, someone convince me!

Remember reading about Lake County’s canceling its trash-to-ethanol plant last May? This was after four years of trying to make the “concept” work. What will happen to our LMU employees if Pyrolyzer fails? What will happen to Logansport?

It only takes about 3 minutes to view Pyrolyzer’s entire website.

No hard facts, supporting research or substance there. No current plants in operation as far as I can tell.

Reviewing the 03/04/13 minutes of the Logansport City Council, Pyrolyzer is “responsible for securing all financing.” Their own website under “investors” only says they are “seeking quality investors.”

Looking at other municipal solid waste-to-energy sites, I located a “Plasma Waste Recycling” press release from 2010. A 450-page feasibility study for a proposed gasification facility in Montgomery, Ala., concluded that although there would be a positive rate of return, it would not be “at a rate necessary to attract investors to build the plant in Montgomery.” There are many other examples of a variety of similar gasification/biomass/incinerator, etc plants that have not lived up to expectations. I am not informed enough to know if I am making valid comparisons or not — but I am interested in finding something that is positive about this technology to be viable and sustainable long term — and so far, no luck.

If this is such a “no brainer,” then why is Waste Management not a major player in gasification technology? Again, in the Logansport City Council minutes of March 4, Greg Wengert states that Waste Management is using the gas “with Mother Nature’s help to slowly generate energy from trash, to run their gas turbines.” Doesn’t make sense to me that Waste Management, with its vast municipal waste resources, would not be ahead of the curve on this!

I believe in Logansport and I do believe our elected officials have our best interests. They and their families live here to. I question the competency of Gary Peterson, the hired consultant, as there appear to be more experienced and credible companies than Pyrolyzer out there. Still, I don’t think we can afford to keep looking at this technology when natural gas is a more cost effective and available option. The current LMU facility could be converted to natural gas and our LMU employees maintain their jobs.

Indiana’s 2016 bicentenial celebration will soon be here. Logansport has great resources/assets in our history, rivers, trails, art and growing cultural diversity. I believe we can become a tourist destination and have a lot to offer. But not as the “City Built by Trash!” Don’t “waste” our energy!

Bonnie Brown