Saturday, November 24, 2012

Common Sense Solutions

Greensboro still has a waste issue. What if, instead of talking about reopening the White Street Landfill we continued to used the transfer station near the airport.
Closed the current entrance to the White Street Landfill forever,

Finished construction of the East Cone Blvd extension (It's only 1300 feet and the rough grading has been completed for years.)

Built a new entrance to the White Street Property from Cone Blvd,

And constructed the new high tech, Claudette Burroughs-White Waste To Energy Plant owned not by 3rd party contractors but by the City of Greensboro,

Then started hauling our garbage not 70 miles to Montgomery County where we pay $40 a ton in tipping fees but to our own W2E Plant just 10 miles away where the tipping fees are ZERO?

Let's see, we've just saved 60 miles at a cost of what $3 per mile and $40 a ton and 20 tons per trip, 6-8 trips per day... Someone do the math.

“I would hope that one of the things this council will consider is all the new technology that’s in existence,” she said. “The clean incinerator that [Niles] mentioned was one of them. The production of methane that we do in our own landfill, that part of it goes to Cone [Mills], and we burn 440-some tons of it. We don’t do anything but burn it. The whole technology of mining landfills, we have the technology to do it with almost no environmental impact — to do it and create jobs.

And we need to be looking forward. We need to embrace this technology, and we do not need to open that landfill.”
Mayor Johnson

There's more:

“For years, it has been suggested that Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem form a regional waste management authority," --Mary Lou Clapp, resident of the White Street Area.

The case was made but no one listened:

"Valerie Niles, a Lynn Road resident who relocated to Greensboro from Newark, NJ, suggested that the city should incinerate its garbage and sell the energy to a power company. She noted that garbage from Newark is incinerated near the city’s international airport, and that the city brings in trash from other communities and is still not operating at full capacity."

I argued Waste 2 Energy for years. Opponents said it had never been proven to be profitable. But opponents are being short sited. Waste 2 Energy is less expensive than hauling our garbage 70 or more miles away. Even if the cost of making the energy is higher than the price you sell the energy for you still end up saving money in ever rising transportation and tipping fees. And unlike landfills, the Claudette Burroughs-White Waste To Energy Plant won't ever fill up.

And then there's that regional solution thingie. Plans to build landfills in Asheboro, Reidsville, Eden and various other areas have all failed due to environmental issues. Where is the Piedmont Triad going to build its regional waste disposal landfill-- Mexico? Africa? Antarctica? So much for keeping cost down. Greensboro is the only city in the area that currently owns property that meets State and Federal standards. Greensboro could be charging High Point, Winston-Salem, Reidsville, Eden, Burlington, Elon, Thomasville, Jamestown and dozens of other nearby cities $40 a ton or more for their trash and selling the energy made from it. So let's quit talking about building landfills and start talking about building common sense solutions.

And why in Northeast Greensboro? Because Northeast Greensboro needs high tech, high paying jobs more so than west Greensboro needs them.

Closing the White Street Landfill wasn't enough and this is the only way we can afford to get rid of what is already there. Or we can let Robbie Perkins build shopping centers and minimum wage jobs in the east while he puts the high paying jobs in industrial parks out on the county lines. Why do you think he went along with closing White Street in the first place?

And remember this: Until a Waste 2 Energy plant is built somewhere, there is always the risk that a new Greensboro City Council might reopen the White Street Landfill by pulling a few strings in Raleigh. Don't think they don't know how.