REW Staff

The Staff of Renewable Energy from Waste is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive news coverage of this burgeoning industry.




April 8, 2014


Cahill Energy to invest $240 million in Barbados WTE plant

Guernsey-based Cahill Energy signed an agreement with the government of Barbados on March 15, 2014, to build and operate a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant on the Caribbean island. Established to finance, build, own and operate utility-scale WTE plants, Cahill Energy says it plans to utilize the most innovative technology available to transform all kinds of waste on Barbados into clean, renewable energy.

Cahill Energy expects to invest up to $240 million in the proposed plant which is set to be built in Vaucluse, in the parish of St. Thomas, creating up to 650 skilled jobs, and providing Barbados with hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated savings over the 30-year contract.

The plant will be designed to provide a leading-edge, environmentally sound solution to two of Barbados’ most pressing challenges: waste management and energy security. Using plasma gasification technology, the plant will transform up to 650 metric tons of solid waste per day into clean, renewable energy.

The energy generated will provide a new domestic source of power for Barbados, reducing the island’s reliance on imported fossil fuel. The plant is expected to provide up to 25 percent of Barbados’ total energy needs and reduce the cost of energy.

Gasification technology provider Westinghouse Plasma Corp. of Madison, Pa., which is owned by AlterNRG, based in Calgary, Alberta, is expected to supply the plasma gasification technology.

Clare Cowan, CEO of Cahill Energy, says, “While we recognize the country faces some short term challenges due to the impact of the global economic downturn, we believe the fundamentals are strong. We are therefore confident that this investment represents a phenomenal business opportunity for our investors and offers even greater benefits to the people of Barbados.”

Senator Darcy W. Boyce, minister of energy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados, says, “This waste-to-energy project is a major step to put Barbados firmly on the way to its initial target of replacing by 2029, 29 percent of its oil-based electricity by generation from renewable and alternative energy. Indeed, this project will help Barbados significantly to reach this target 10 years earlier than planned.”


Anaerobic digestion

Covanta will recycle theme park’s organic waste

Covanta, Morristown, N.J., has announced a new organics waste agreement with the Lake Compounce theme park in Bristol, Conn. This is Covanta’s first organics agreement in Connecticut since announcing its partnership with Turning Earth LLC, King of Prussia, Pa., to provide organics recycling for the state.

“We’ve made great investments in recent years to make Lake Compounce the premier destination for family entertainment and amusement,” says Jerry Brick, general manager of Lake Compounce, which describes itself as the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America. “This partnership with Covanta is a great fit to further our commitment to sustainability and the environment. We’re aiming to build a safer, greener park, and Covanta can help us achieve these goals. We also look forward to working closely with Covanta on expanding our partnership to include other sustainable waste solutions.”

As part of the three-year agreement, organic waste from Lake Compounce will be processed at a new organics recycling facility to be built by Turning Earth in central Connecticut. Covanta will provide education and training for Lake Compounce employees in methods for source-separating organics.

“Covanta’s organics partnerships are expressly designed to supply organics recycling services to commercial and municipal customers that are looking to develop comprehensive, sustainable waste management plans,” says Stephen Diaz, Covanta’s vice president of strategic services. “As a champion and advocate of environmental awareness and sustainability on both the individual and corporate levels, we are thrilled to support Lake Compounce in its sustainability endeavors.”


Anaerobic digestion

Harvest Power opens Florida AD facility

Harvest Power has opened the Central Florida Energy Garden, an organics management and renewable energy facility that is the first of its kind in the U.S., converting organic waste into renewable biogas and natural fertilizers. The anaerobic digester combines several technologies and will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from central Florida landfills.

Located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the Central Florida Energy Garden uses anaerobic digestion (AD) to produce renewable biogas. When operating at full capacity, the facility will process more than 120,000 tons of organic materials annually while producing 5.4 megawatts of combined heat and power.

“We are immensely proud of the teamwork that transformed this technically sophisticated project from a vision to a reality,” says Alex MacFarlane, vice president of Project Development. “As North American demand for recycling of organic waste grows, this anaerobic digestion facility is a revelation for what is possible. Designed to the highest standards, we hope it will serve as an inspiration for more communities to divert organics from the landfill.”

Harvest Power’s Energy Garden is designed to help businesses and communities across Central Florida reduce and reuse organic material, increase renewable energy production and revitalize soil to boost local agriculture. Restaurants, hotels and food processors throughout the region are now able to send food scraps to the Energy Garden. Walt Disney World Resort—located within RCID—is the facility’s first customer with additional businesses in surrounding communities signing up every day.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to conserve natural resources and protect the environment,” says Bill Warren, administrator for RCID, which provides governmental services, including utility systems. “Turning organic waste into clean energy is a logical next step toward realizing long-term sustainability goals.”

In central Florida, about 24 pounds of food waste enters a landfill every second—or more than 1,000 tons per day.

Harvest Power also is launching a new campaign in Central Florida, encouraging businesses to divert their food waste from landfills and convert it to renewable energy via the Harvest facility. The “Orlando Or Landfill? Responsible Food Recovery” campaign challenges businesses and consumers to “Choose Orlando” to reduce pressure on landfills and help fuel local renewable energy production. Harvest Power works with a variety of municipalities and private haulers to provide simple solutions for food waste recycling.

More information is available at


Plastics to oil

Global Clean Energy signs feedstock agreement with Sonoco

Global Clean Energy Inc. (GCE), Houston, has signed a long-term feedstock agreement with Sonoco Recycling, a division of the packaging company Sonoco, based in Hartsville, S.C. Sonoco Recycling will provide end-of-life plastic in addition to other solid waste streams to GCE for its Waste to Fuel (W2F) plant developments in North America.

Locations are being carefully vetted in 2014, and the first plant is expected to be operational in 2015, GCE says.

“We are extremely impressed with Sonoco’s forward-thinking commitment to waste conversion and their stewardship of the environment,” says Steven Mann, chief development officer of GCE.

Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging products, industrial products, protective packaging and displays and packaging supply chain services.

GCE is a waste-to-energy conversion solutions company that focuses on using a range of technologies to convert waste into commercially viable energy—a process the company refers to as Reforming Environmental Salvage into Clean Usable Energy (R.E.S.C.U.E.).

GCE offers solutions to the plastics, rubber, anaerobic digestion and platinum group metals recovery industries.


Conferences & events

City of San Jose to host 2014 Renewable Energy from Waste Conference

The Recycling Today Media Group, publisher of Renewable Energy from Waste magazine, together with Smithers Apex and Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc., are pleased to announce the dates and location for the second Renewable Energy From Waste (REW) Conference. Following the overwhelming success of the 2013 event, the REW Conference has been firmly established as the premier event for the rapidly developing and dynamic waste conversion industry. This year, the city of San Jose, Calif., will serve as the host for the event, taking place Nov. 18–20, 2014, at the Doubletree by Hilton.

While demand for energy and chemicals continues to rise, we also are facing unprecedented levels of natural resource scarcity and rising costs. As a result, capturing the resource potential of waste streams is gaining accelerated importance and is fueling an industry with incredible growth potential. This growth is facilitated by renewable energy policy, increased funding availability, revenue potential and landfill policy alongside associated costs.

The REW Conference brings together those operating a wide range of waste conversion technologies, including gasification, anaerobic digestion, refuse-derived fuel and plastics to oil to discuss everything from the economics of waste conversion, operational advice and case studies to the legislative climate for conversion technologies.

This diverse program is augmented by tours of San Jose’s world-class waste processing and conversion facilities, as the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park and Zero Waste Energy Development Co. (ZWEDC) open their doors to conference delegates this fall.

“The city of San Jose’s Environmental Services Department is both honored and excited to serve as the host community for the conference,” says Environmental Services Deputy Director Jo Zientek, who oversaw San Jose’s overhaul of its commercial waste system, leading to a tripling of its commercial recycling rate. “We can count on the REW Conference to facilitate the information exchange that helps those of us in the waste management community learn from each other and become more successful in our endeavors. We look forward to working with the REW team on the conference and to showcasing world-class waste recovery facilities in San Jose.”

The conference attracts waste generators, the government sector, waste management firms, recycling firms, energy and chemical producers and equipment and technology suppliers for insights into financials, market trends and opportunities and technology developments.

Jim Keefe, publisher of the Recycling Today Media Group, says, “The forthcoming conference will equip organizations with the contacts, information and strategies that allow you to capitalize on this fast-growing market.”

For more information, contact Marianne Vold at or at 207-781-9605 or visit


Mass burn

Inashco and Wheelabrator form joint venture

Inashco BV and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. have announced the formation of a new North American-based joint-venture (JV) company dedicated to the recycling of ferrous and nonferrous metals from the waste-to-energy (WTE) process.

The 50-50-owned JV company, Eco Recovery Solutions LLC (ERS), “will use Inashco’s patented and proprietary advanced dry recovery (ADR) technology to enhance the recovery of ferrous and nonferrous metals at waste-to-energy facilities,” according to a press release issued by the companies.

Nonferrous metals recovered will include copper, zinc, lead and aluminum as small as 0.5 millimeters in size, Wheelabrator, a Littleton, N.H.-based subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., says it selected the Inashco technology “because of its proven track record in Europe and its unique ability to process fresh ash without aging that results in oxidation and diminished product values.”

Netherlands-based Inashco currently operates “central upgrading facilities” in Europe.

The recycling process at these facilities produces two streams of material: a heavy nonferrous product and a light nonferrous sold to Fondel Metals, Inashco’s parent company. The ERS JV also plans to develop aggregate reuse opportunities with the ultimate goal of what it calls a circular economic solution for ash management.



Mass burn

Maryland DEP to issue permits for new WTE facility

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has made final determinations to issue permits for a proposed waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Frederick County, Md. The DEP is issuing permits and approvals that require the proposed facility to meet all applicable environmental laws and regulations for air emissions, water discharge and refuse disposal. The permits and approvals became effective February 21, 2014.

The permits and approvals are for the proposed Frederick/Carroll County Renewable WTE Facility in Frederick, Md. The applicant of the WTE is Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority. The operator is Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

The proposed facility is designed to incinerate municipal solid waste, biosolids and scrap tires to meet the long-term solid waste disposal needs of Frederick and Carroll Counties and produce about 55 megawatts gross/45 megawatts net of electricity.

Maryland law and regulation requires that MDE limit its review of permit and approval applications to the effect that a facility might have on the environment and public health. MDE’s technical analysis of the permit and approval applications has shown that the facility can be built and operated in a manner that is fully in compliance with Maryland law and regulation to protect public health and the environment. The air quality permits and approvals include requirements to limit and mitigate mercury emissions that are more stringent than what is required under state and federal law.

MDE conducted a public hearing on the water discharge permit application and another public hearing on the air, water and refuse disposal permit and approval applications. Nearly 100 people testified at the hearings. The department also received written comments from more than 1,800 individuals and several organizations. All comments were considered.

In response to some of the comments received, previously issued air quality and refuse disposal draft permits and approvals were modified before the final determination was made.

Modifications for the air permit include the following:

  • In response to concerns about the appropriate emissions limitation for hydrogen chloride, the best available control technology emissions limit for hydrogen chloride was reduced (from 25 parts per million to 20 parts per million on a three-hour block average).
  • In response to concerns about the absence of an emissions limitation for fine particles, a permit condition was added to limit fine particle emissions (to 100 tons for any consecutive 12-month rolling period). The facility will be required to conduct a stack test to confirm compliance.
  • In response to concerns about the volume of waste that could be processed in the facility combustors, an operational limit that measures waste by capacity to create heat was added. This limit is in addition to an operational limit measuring waste by mass.

For the facility’s refuse disposal permit:

  • In response to concerns about potential odors from the facility as well as litter blowing onto the adjacent Monocacy Battlefield Park, a permit condition was added to require the permittee to include a plan for periodic washing of the solid waste tipping floor and to include a plan for meeting the permit requirement to control litter.
  • In response to a comment that the facility’s Mercury Diversion Plan did not address mercury in waste from sources outside of Frederick and Carroll counties, a permit condition was added to require the permittee to submit a plan for MDE approval for diverting mercury-containing items from a solid waste stream generated from sources outside of the counties prior to accepting that waste stream.
  • In response to comments about sampling requirements for incinerator ash, MDE modified the permit to increase the frequency of required ash testing to quarterly for the first two years and semi-annually thereafter to better characterize the toxicity of the ash and account for variability in the waste stream. The permit was also modified to require the permittee to submit a plan describing details of the ash sampling procedures.

Michelle Nadeau, a spokesperson for Wheelabrator Technologies, says, “We thank the Maryland Department of the Environment for its thorough and thoughtful review process, and we look forward to working with Frederick County and the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority to move forward on this important renewable energy project.”



Anaerobic digestion

California wastewater plant will convert liquid food waste into energy

The Encina Wastewater Authority (EWA), Carlsbad, Calif., has awarded a contract to Phoenix-based J.R. Filanc Construction and a partnership with Liquid Environmental Solutions, Irvine, Texas, to build an alternative fuel receiving facility that will recycle waste cooking oil and other food wastes. The organic materials will be used to produce renewable energy.

EWA currently produces nearly 80 percent of its 2.2 megawatt (MW) annual electricity demand from biogas that is created during the wastewater treatment process, a biological process that relies on bacteria to decompose biological and chemical waste. This process results in the release of methane gases that are recaptured through EWA’s PureEnergy program and are used to power biogas engines that generate electricity at EWA and deliver heat to other EWA system processes.

“Through our joint venture and design-build contract with J.R. Filanc Construction and HDR Engineering, and a fuel delivery partnership with Liquid Environmental Solutions, our commitment to the Alternative Fuel Receiving Project means that EWA will soon be a net-zero energy consumer,” says Kevin Hardy, EWA’s general manager. “Using resources embedded in the wastewater stream to achieve energy independence is key to sustainable water resources management.”

The Alternative Fuel Receiving Project will deliver fats, oils and grease, liquefied food waste and other higher strength digestible organic substrate to EWA’s Water Pollution Control facility.

The waste will be anaerobically digested to yield additional biogas fuel to supplement current unused digestion capacity. Construction of the Alternative Fuel Receiving Facility is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2014 and will take about six months to complete.


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