Waste commission seeking more garbage for Plasco project

The group of Central Alberta communities pursuing a waste-to-energy plant with Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group is seeking more sources of garbage for the long-delayed project.

The group of Central Alberta communities pursuing a waste-to-energy plant with Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group is seeking more sources of garbage for the long-delayed project.

Central Waste Management Commission members met for their regular meeting on Friday to discuss negotiations with Plasco for a new deal to supply garbage to the proposed 200-tonne-a-day plant to be built in Red Deer County.

The project hinges on enough garbage being found to supply the plant, which uses a plasma heat process to turn waste into a gas that can be used to generate electricity.

Red Deer County manager Curtis Herzberg said the nine municipalities in the commission can guarantee 20,700 tonnes of garbage a year for 20 years. However, the plant will be rated for about 84,000 tonnes.

Plasco has asked the commission to lock up another 35,000 tonnes of garbage for 20 years. As well, Plasco is locating its own sources of municipal garbage.

The garbage issue arose because a review showed there was less garbage available from member municipalities than originally thought because of the necessary 20-year supply guarantee.

For instance, Red Deer County creates about 20,000 tonnes of garbage a year, but only about 3,500 is directly controlled by the municipality and can be guaranteed to Plasco.

A significant reduction in the amount of waste created because of the economic downturn has also meant taking another look at the numbers.

Janet Whitesell, waste management superintendent for the City of Red Deer, said between 2007 and 2010, the city’s waste dropped from 125,000 tonnes a year to 85,000 tonnes. Almost all of the decline can be contributed to lower amounts of construction-related waste. Residential waste levels are fairly stable.

“We can’t commit what we don’t have,” said Lynne Mulder, city councillor and the representative on the commission.

Mulder remained optimistic that the commission will find other sources of garbage for the plant, which might mean looking as far afield as Calgary. Edmonton is building its own gasification plant.

“We as a commission believe the potential is there.”

Plasco has also agreed to a commission counter offer to pay $66 per tonne to take municipal waste. An escalation clause has also been accepted that would boost rates for the original nine communities involved in the project by half of the consumer price index (CPI) per year. CPI is currently about three per cent.

Plasco initially wanted the full CPI built into the contract for inflation costs.

The commission unanimously approved a motion to wait until late this month to hear back from Plasco before making a final decision on a new contract.

Other commission member municipalities include Blackfalds, Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, Sylvan Lake, Elnora and Delburne.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP leader Rachel Notley is calling on the UCP to make a public inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak at Olymel. (Facebook screenshot)
Notley calls for Olymel inquiry as plant reopens

Union also asks for further consideration to delay opening

UPDATE: Rally held outside Red Deer court for slain central Alberta man

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

(Contributed image).
Deadline extended for arts scholarship applications for Red Deer-area students

Red Deer Arts Council will accept applications until March 15

Hog slaughter operations resumed on Thursday at Red Deer’s Olymel plant, which was closed for two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 among workers. Three employee deaths resulted from the latest outbreak. (Advocate file photo).
Hog slaughtering operations gear up again at Red Deer’s Olymel plant

Workers begin to return after 14-day closure due to COVID-19 outbreak

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the greater lag time between first and second doses will allow more Albertans to be effectively vaccinated sooner. (File photo)
Alberta extends time between vaccine doses means more people to get shot sooner

National Advisory Committee on Immunization says doses can be to up to four months apart

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, holds a press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Canada’s chief medical adviser says her department is constantly receiving and reviewing any data on vaccines and COVID-19 variants and will be quickly ready to authorize needed boosters when they’re ready. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Health Canada says vaccine boosters will be approved more easily

OTTAWA — Health Canada says it won’t require new clinical trial data… Continue reading

Unifor national president Jerry Dias speaks during a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Dias says Air Canada is pledging passenger refunds as negotiations over federal aid for airlines drag on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Unifor’s Dias says Air Canada holding to refund pledge as aid negotiations drag on

OTTAWA — Unifor president Jerry Dias says Air Canada continues to promise… Continue reading

Lionel Desmond (front row, far right) was part of the 2nd battalion, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Gagetown and shown in this 2007 handout photo taken in Panjwai district in between patrol base Wilson and Masum Ghar in Afghanistan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Trev Bungay MANDATORY CREDIT
Desmond inquiry: social worker reveals details about former soldier’s family life

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — An inquiry in Nova Scotia is hearing testimony… Continue reading

Seniors arrive for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Nova Scotia eases COVID-19 restrictions; cases creep up in Ontario

Nova Scotia is easing public-health restrictions in and around Halifax, while new… Continue reading

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna stands near a bus as she waits to start an announcement at a public transit garage in Ottawa, Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals tap $2.5B of promised transit dollars for zero-emission buses

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are setting aside some of the billions… Continue reading

Canada’s Eliot Grondin looks on after competing in a men’s snowboard cross heat at the Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Grondin continued his strong season with his first career World Cup snowboard cross victory on Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canadian Eliot Grondin captures gold at World Cup snowboard cross event

BAKURIANI, Georgia — Canada’s Eliot Grondin continued his strong season with his… Continue reading

Most Read