Friday, June 26, 2009
ECRRA Considers Bale-To-Rail Trash Plant For City
At a Wednesday meeting of the Eastern Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, of which the City of Middletown is the sole municipal, Stephen Lynch, the ECRRA administrator proposed exploration of a "bale-to-rail" trash system for the system.
ECRRA currently operates a successful trash to energy plant in Lisbon CT which affords Middletown very low tipping rates compared to those of other Central Connecticut towns which use the CRRA plant in Hartford. Currently, ECRRA charges 67 cents a ton for administrative costs, while CRRA charges $13 a ton.
Lynch indicated that he has been receiving requests for information from several Central Connecticut municipalities which now use the CRRA plant, and a the contracts come to term over the next 3 years, are considering other resources.
"Consultants are recommending that they seek a non-CRRA option," Lynch said. He also noted that Middletown has the "best financial arrangement in the industry."
"The question is are there opportunities to expand this and share it with other Connecticut communities," Lynch asked.
With the inquiries he's received Lynch began exploring a technology in which Municipal Solid Waste is accumulated at a processing plant, baled with equipment similar to that used for hay-baling, and wrapped in impermeable, linear, low-density polyethelene for transport or storage.
Lynch began discussion with TransLoad America, a company which specializes in trash baling facilities, and trash transportation and found that Middletown resident, trash-hauler and developer Phil Armetta was also engaged in talks with TransLoad. At that point, the preliminary discussion became a three-way talk because Armetta has a Middletown site adjacent to rail access which he is considering as a trash baling station. Armetta, built a career as a trash entrepreneur with his Middletown company Dainty Rubbish.
TransLoad VP of operations, Rob Ludin, and technical director of waste operations, Wes Whitehead described the baling operation and process. Waste is collected, mixed, and baled in lightproof, leakproof, ultra-violet inhibiting, airtight bales which prevents putrescence. According to the TransLoad representatives, these bales of 3 and 4 tons the odor, bird attraction and degredation of the trash enclosed inside. The bales can be stored at trash-to-energy sites to avoid the seasonal dips in trash fuel availability, or they can be shipped by flatbed (as they are from the Stamford site), or by rail, at a much reduced rate, to "superdumps" owned, or contracted by TransLoad in Louisiana, Ohio, Alabama and Utah.
Along with a proposed expansion of the Lisbon waste-to-energy plant, the development of a bale-to-rail site would allow ECRRA to consider accepting trash from other Central Connecticut municipalities.
The ECRRA board (Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, Common Council members Gerry Daley and David Bauer) voted unanimously to allow ECRRA to accept inquiries about accepting trash from Capitol Region Council of Government municipalities, and to explore the expansion of the Lisbon operation and the development of a bale-to-rale operation.