The Cleveland Recycling & Energy Generation Center (CREG Center) is a comprehensive solution to Cleveland’s recycling and energy needs. It is the result of more than four years worth of research into ways in which the City of Cleveland can become a more sustainable entity through the reduction of its operating costs and its carbon footprint, the reduction in its reliance on the open market for energy and the ability to create new revenue streams and create jobs.
Four years ago Mayor Frank G. Jackson mandated Cleveland Public Power to increase its advanced renewable energy sources in the generation and purchase of power. The goals he set forth were 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020 and 25% by 2025. To that end, Cleveland Public Power has researched the ways in which they can achieve that goal, and garner a positive impact for the entire region. The utility looked at hydro, wind, landfill gas and other options before choosing gasification – a decision that will not only help CPP, but the entire City and the region.
The establishment of The CREG Center will accelerate the City of Cleveland’s curbside recycling program and will divert 90-95% of its municipal solid waste away from landfills. The carbon footprint of the City will be reduced due to a decrease in outbound truck traffic to landfills from both Cleveland and some adjoining communities. In addition to helping the environment by reducing the City’s reliance on landfill space, the Center will result in a financial savings to the City through lower tipping fees. Finally, post recycled waste that does not have harmful pollutants will be turned into fuel pellets, that can ultimately be converted to 15 megawatts of electricity.
The CREG Center works well for the City of Cleveland because trash collection is still handled by the City and Cleveland Public Power could benefit from the electricity generated. Most importantly the project would move Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s vision of a “zero waste” and sustainable community forward.