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Cole Rosengren, March 7, 2017

Dive Brief:

  • The town of New Windsor in New York’s Orange County has approved a contract to sell up to 12 acres of land to Entsorga North America for close to $1.1 million. The solid recovered fuel (SRF) producer has up to two years to purchase the land, located at the Stewart International Airport, as reported by the Times-Herald Record.
  • The company, a subsidiary of BioHiTech Global, aims to build a facility that uses the same technology as its first project in West Virginia with slightly more capacity. That facility is currently under construction and will sort recyclables before using a form of mechanical biological treatment (MBT) on the remaining material to create SRF for use in cement kilns. This product has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a non-waste clean fuel alternative.
  • Two other companies, Taylor Biomass Energy and W2E International Corp., are also interested in potentially building their own facilities to process local waste in the area. Orange County’s current contract with Interstate Waste Services — part of the Action Environmental Group — is up in November 2018.

Dive Insight:

Entsorga North America was launched in 2016 and the Entsorga technology is already used at multiple facilities in Europe, yet this would only be the second location to employ it in the U.S. Any further plans for a facility would be subject to local approval and state permit review. There is potential for competition among other local players, as Taylor Biomass Energy has been particularly interested in starting its own facility in the area for years. Despite support from Senator Chuck Schumer and the possibility of federal funding the Taylor project still hasn’t come to fruition.

Dennis Soriano, director of business development for Entsorga North America, told Waste Dive that the market is appealing because the county currently exports all of its waste. “The opportunity to divert a significant amount of solid waste from landfill and be able to convert that to a renewable alternative fuel we think makes a lot of sense for Orange County,” he said. New York is currently considering a state policy for commercial organic waste diversion that doesn’t explicitly include MBT as an accepted processing option, but could lead to greater interest in diverting the material from landifll. Soriano said Entsorga would be ready for any type of state policy change as its facility would be designed to handle at least 20% of the capacity as organic material.

While Entsorga’s SRF process is different than traditional refuse-derived fuel facilities, it is still seen in the same overall category as a safe bet for communities looking at different conversion options. Whether its unique process will be a selling point or a cause of hesitation for Orange County remains to be seen. If the experiences of Fiberight in Maine — which also uses MBT but creates different products — are any indication the proposal of a new concept is sure to create much discussion.