Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Excellence In Public Policy: Florida County Turning Trash Into Power Without Public Funds

Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Modern cities consume vast amounts of power, and produce vast amounts of garbage. The cities typically pay one vendor to produce the power, and another to haul away the garbage.

St. Lucie County in Florida, however, has a plan to turn its garbage into a source of power, and at private expense, not public expense.

A company called Geoplasma plans to build a 100,000 square-foot plant that will vaporize 3,000 tons of the county's garbage each day, and use gas produced in the process to generate about 120 megawatts of electricity per day. Geoplasma will then sell the electricity to a neighboring orange juice factory.

Geoplasma is investing $425 million of its shareholders' and bondholders' money in the project, so that the county itself will not spend a dime of taxpayers' money on the project.

Geoplasma asserts that no emissions are released during the process, and that the remaining solid waste materials will be hardened into a slag that can be used for road construction.

If you live near Sunshine Canyon, catch this part of the story: "County officials estimate that their landfill, which holds 4.3 million tons of trash collected since 1978, will be gone in 18 years."

THIS, my friends, is the kind of thing on which the City Clowncil should focus its attention, rather than, say, having the 15 most powerful people in the City assemble to decide whether to waive a $2000 "special event" fee for a for-profit street fair. Reducing the amount of scarce real estate we ruin with out trash, and increasing the amount of energy we produce without importing more from the Middle East, are important and legitimate policy goals.

And yes, there are people who claim that the garbage-to-power program cannot work, but hey, this plant is being built with PRIVATE funds, not PUBLIC funds. So how about some of you City Clowncil staffers out their get your people on top of this.

Finally, yes, I know, one Council Member has written something like a 9000-page rambling report on this. That's not going to cut it. He and his staff need to boil it down to a 10-pager, come up with specifics, and hold some hearings, perhaps with the people from Geoplasma.

You want a fitting tribute to 9/11? How about reducing our reliance on Middle East oil?

Read all about it at the L.A. Times: Florida Trash May Be Gone In A Flash.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is something I'll have to go research tomorrow since it's so late tonight. I am concerned about the emissions because Japan might be stringent, but CA is too.

Greig Smith's "9000 page report" did discuss gasification, but I'd have to go look up Geoplasma and read about it for myself.

No comments because nobody cares about this subject except for people who live by Sunshine Canyon or Bradley Landfill.

September 10, 2006 11:41 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Yeah, funny that there's no comments. This is a huge deal for our city. Maybe we chalk it up to this being 9/11....

September 11, 2006 1:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'd be careful jumping into Geoplasma. They have nothing to show for but a lab but no real product and now suddenly they're going to build a 3000 ton per day plant? This sounds pretty shady. If you've been to Geoplasma's website you see only one page and a video with a few guys talking about it. There's no information about sites they've built or even a video showing their prototype. I wouldn't put too much faith in this company considering you can't even see a working unit in their promotional video. The only thing they show is a torch but there's no proof of a working unit. I'm not downing plasma technology as a solution but these guys sound like a couple of yahoos on a long drawn out pipedream. One of the guys in the video on their site says he thinks this that the process can be profitable with msw. Doesn't he know? Another guy says he thinks this is the best and cleanest technology. Once again don't these guys even know what they're talking about? This sounds like they're selling Florida something they have no clue about. To see what I mean go to www.geoplasma.com

September 12, 2006 6:36 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home