Incinerator not needed, county is told

March 29, 1995|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

A garbage drop-off station in Carroll County would be more economical than an incinerator, a representative of one of the country's largest developers of waste-to-energy plants said yesterday.

Haulers would deposit trash at the station, and the trash would be transported out of county to a waste-to-energy plant, said John E. Joyner, a business developer at Ogden Projects Inc. of Fairfield, N.J.

The county does not generate enough garbage per day to operate an incinerator, he said. Carroll generates about 300 tons per day; at least 500 tons would be needed.

County commissioners met with three representatives from Ogden Martin Systems Inc. at the County Office Building to discuss the possibility of an incinerator in Carroll.

Ogden Martin operates 25 waste-to-energy facilities in the country. Three are under construction, including one in Montgomery County.

There has not been much support in Carroll for a waste-to-energy plant, which would burn trash to generate electricity. A citizens committee recommended against building an incinerator because it would be expensive and could cause environmental problems. Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown is adamantly opposed to an incinerator.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell is interested in waste-to-energy plants because he does not want the county to build another landfill. He has said he believes incinerator companies have eliminated environmental hazards. But money is crucial.

"Our bottom line is cost," he said.

Commissioner Richard T. Yates has said he has reservations about the safety of incineration. He said he would approve trucking the county's trash to an incinerator. "The feasibility of doing this looks good," he said.

Mr. Brown has been a proponent of composting county trash, which would produce marketable fertilizer.

The commissioners cannot make a decision until they look closely at the costs of the options, he said. County staff members expect to send a request for proposals to incinerator, composting and other garbage companies in about a month.

Mr. Brown said he hopes the commissioners make a decision by late summer or early fall. "We hope to be able to get several proposals and evaluate them fairly," he said.

A transfer station would take at least six months to build and would cost less than $500,000, not including land costs, said Bill Del Vecchio, director of business administration for the mid-Atlantic region for Ogden Martin. The company could build, own and operate the station, he said.

Trash would be transported by truck or rail to an Ogden Martin incinerator. The closest are in Fairfax County, Va.; Alexandria, Va.; and Lancaster, Pa., Mr. Del Vecchio said.

The representatives said they could not tell how much it would cost per ton to operate a transfer station. "Our tipping fees are different on each project," Mr. Joyner said.

Several components must be calculated: the cost of operating the transfer station, the cost of transporting garbage to the incinerator and the fee paid at the incinerator.

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