Ecomaine to Host 20th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference
Each year, the North American Waste-to-Energy Conference (NAWTEC) focuses on current municipal waste-to-energy operational issues and policy, technology, and research initiatives, striving to provide practical, relevant solutions to waste-to-energy professionals. This year, the event is being hosted by ecomaine of Portland, Maine, a nonprofit waste management company owned and operated by 21 municipalities in southern Maine. With an additional 23 contracted communities, ecomaine provides services to a combined population of 335,000. The company is a shining example of a successful integrated solid waste system that utilizes waste-to-energy in a way that is both fiscally and environmentally responsible.
ecomaine is comprised of three facilities—a waste-to-energy plant, a single-stream recycling facility and a landfill/ashfill operation—that are all ISO 14001–certified for excellence in environmental management. The waste-to-energy plant was built in 1988 and processes 175,000 tons per year. Its two mass-burn water wall boilers produce 100,000 MW of electricity annually. The plant, which averaged 94% availability last year, employs the use of CEMS, SDA, SNCR, carbon injection, and electrostatic precipitator technology for emissions control and monitoring.
The ecomaine recycling facility is the largest in Maine and houses a greater than 35,000-ton-per-year single-stream recovery operation that began in 2007. The owner-communities and management of ecomaine are committed to making recycling their first priority. Utilizing single-stream technology has many economic and environmental benefits, including increased participation in recycling, more efficient curbside collection, less idling time for trucks (resulting in less pollution), and fewer trips to the ecomaine recycling facility.
The final stop for the ash resulting from the waste-to-energy plant is ecomaine’s 240-acre landfill/ashfill. The landfill opened in 1978 and was converted to an ashfill after the construction of the waste-to-energy plant in 1988. In 2006, ecomaine completed the construction of a new 7-acre ash cell, the first since 1995. The new cell was built using state-of-the-art environmental design, and the first ash was delivered to that cell in July 2009. In a typical year, 42,000 tons of ash are buried at the site. Despite its location near the busiest intersections and shopping area in the state, ecomaine’s commitment to environmental protection has paid off and the company has experienced virtually no public complaints regarding odor or errant refuse.
The general manager of the ecomaine facilities, Kevin Roche, will be speaking at NAWTEC on Monday, April 23, during the keynote session. Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the facilities on Wednesday, April 25.
NAWTEC is cosponsored by the Energy Recovery Council (ERC), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), in partnership with the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT) at Columbia University. The conference will be held April 23–25, 2012 in Portland, Maine. For more information and to register for the event, please visit http://www.nawtec.org.