The Cleveland Recycling and Energy Generation Center (CREG) will allow Cleveland to maximize recycling, reduce dumping at landfills, and generate electricity while reducing city operating costs and creating jobs. It is a sustainable solution to the economic and environmental challenges of waste disposal and the need for alternative energy sources today and in the future. The net effect of the CREG Center will reduce the City’s overall carbon footprint.
Here are some facts about how the CREG Center will work:
- The City of Cleveland will implement automated trash pick up and curbside recycling citywide. Every household will receive a container for recyclable materials to be placed out for convenient pick up.
- Recyclables and municipal waste will be taken to a state-of-the-art material recovery facility (MRF) where waste will be sorted to ensure that all recyclable materials are recovered, and that hazardous materials, including products containing mercury, are removed from the waste stream.
- Recyclables will be sold, creating an additional revenue source for the City. Hazardous materials will be disposed of properly. And the remaining municipal solid waste will be converted into fuel pellets.
- The fuel pellets will then be gasified to create steam. This steam will do two jobs: generate electricity and then sterilize additional waste prior to pelletization.
- The facility itself is projected to create up to 150 new jobs.
Understanding the impact.
- Gasification is not incineration. Rather, high heat and limited oxygen convert batches of solid waste fuel pellets into a synthetic gas and ash. The synthetic gas can be used to generate steam and therefore electricity. Potentially, the ash could be used to create decorative bricks, creating an additional revenue stream.
- Emissions: What we put into the gasification process determines what comes out as emissions. The CREG Center will use a stringent pre-sort process to remove both recyclables and products containing harmful substances like mercury in an effort to reduce or prevent toxic emissions. In other words, if we don’t allow mercury and other toxins into the gasification process, we will not have mercury and other toxins coming out of the gasification process.
- Truck traffic: Overall, truck traffic will slightly increase – by about one trip (a truck either coming or going) per hour during daily truck operation times. The increase will be due to the additional trucks needed for citywide curbside recycling pickup. This increase is offset in part by a decrease of 20 tractor-trailer trips per day. Currently tractor-trailers are used primarily to haul waste to the landfill. With the CREG Center, the majority of the tractor-trailer trips will be to recycling mills.
To learn more about the project visit http://www.cpp.org/CREGCenter.html