Washington County Commissioners approved a new waste-to-energy initiative during their commission meeting held on November 19. The initiative is expected to help with operational shortfalls and add decades to the useful life of the landfill. As reported by the Herald-Mail:
By a 3-0 vote, the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved the contract with America First Inc., a West Virginia company that is planning a two-phase project that would turn waste at the landfill into renewable fuel sources.
Under the contract, the county will allow America First up to 15 acres of landfill property for the project, which includes a $12-million enclosed facility in phase one to sort incoming solid waste and produce fuel pellets with the nonrecyclable materials.
The second phase includes the production of a synthetic fuel comparable to biodiesel through an on-site gasification plant.
The county will also benefit financially from this initiative.
Using conservative projections, the county anticipates receiving about $50,000 per month during phase one operations, or about $600,000 yearly, and upward of $2 million annually once the second phase is completed, according to [County Administrator Greg] Murray.
The additional funds will go a long way to address the county’s operational shortfall at the landfill, which is about $800,000 during the current fiscal year, Murray has said.
Now that the Commissioners have approved the contract, it will be sent to the Maryland Department of Environment for approval and to begin the permitting process.