Trash Idea Misses the Real Problem
The "Trash to Energy Project" headlined in the Feb. 14 issue of The Pilot, and the accompanying laudatory editorial, cover the application of a Band-Aid to a severed artery situation.
The county's and the region's solid household disposal problem and a viable solution are described in depth in a major article over my byline published in the Opinion section of the July 13, 2008, edition of The Pilot. It is worth a reread.
If I understand the Feb. 14 article correctly, the concept is to try to collect some of the gas escaping from the abandoned landfill off SR 5 and use it as fuel for probably a gas turbine to turn a generator for producing electricity for sale to Progress Energy.
Progress Energy is indeed under a state mandate to produce 12.5 percent of its electricity for distribution from renewable resources by the year 2021.
The amount that can be produced by gas from this landfill is minuscule in the overall picture but nevertheless a step in the right direction. The article states that one potential bidder estimates that the county could make a $234,000 annual return on a $1 million investment but opts to let the contractor make the investment. How can they pass up a 23.4 percent return?
The real problem here is that not one new banana peel or paper towel will be disposed of properly but will continue to go into the Uwharrie landfill to cause methane and water pollution problems for future generations.
The taxpayers should not be lulled into thinking that the landfill utilization proposal in any way impacts the real county and regional solid household waste disposal problem.
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