NEW WINDSOR – A company that gives garbage a new life as a renewable fuel hopes to build its second operation in the United States in New Windsor.
BioHiTech America, a partner with BioHiTech Global, has proposed a 69,000-square-foot building for 12 acres of town-owned land on Avenue of the Americas near Stewart International Airport.
The company is requesting a special-use permit from the town Planning Board to turn municipal solid waste into what the company calls “solid recovered fuel.”
Dennis Soriano, director of business development for BioHiTech Renewables, told the Planning Board that the process is essentially “enhanced composting” during a board meeting in February.
He stressed there is no burning or combustion of the garbage.
The waste brought in is dried with industrial fans while natural microbes accelerate the decomposition process.
The process is in use at multiple locations in Europe, and the first domestic plant is under construction in Martinsburg, W.Va. That location is expected to open later this year.
The project would cost roughly $35 million, Soriano said.
Extraneous materials – like metals, plastics, stones and glass – are removed through an entirely automated process, using magnets, electrical currents and optical sorters.
The facility would hire between 16 and 18 employees, who would work as mechanics, electricians and general laborers, Soriano told the board.
The proposal is seeking permitting from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to process up to 150,000 tons of garbage annually.
About 42 to 47 percent of the trash will leave the plant as solid recovered fuel. Another 30 to 35 percent by volume will be lost through natural oxidation and evaporation.
About three to five percent will be recovered metals, and ultimately 17 to 20 percent will be materials that will still have to end up in landfills, Soriano said.
The final product would be used by cement plants that typically burn large amounts of coal, according to Emily Dyson, the director of science, research and development for BioHiTech. It’s not clear if the municipal waste would be from Orange County.
The operations would run Monday through Saturday, with about 40 incoming trucks and 15 outgoing trucks daily.
In March 2017, the Town Board approved a contract to sell 12 acres at Stewart International Airport to Entsorga North America, a subsidiary of BioHiTech Global, for about $1.1 million.