Caroline mayor pitching waste-to-energy project

Plan is for area municipalities will join together to supply project

Caroline Mayor John Rimmer has taken his pitch for a waste-to-energy project to the provincial government.

Rimmer met with Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon and senior staff this past Friday to update them on a proposal to build a plant that could process 50 to 75 tonnes of waste a day.

The government seemed receptive to the idea of diverting central Alberta waste from landfills to a waste-to-energy project, said Rimmer. Sundre, Clearwater County and Rocky Mountain House have already expressed interest in the idea.

Rimmer said the plant would cost about $17 million to build, and it could be financed in a number of ways. It could be privately financed through investors or developed around a lease-back model that would see municipalities own it after a period of time. The provincial government could also lend money for the project with the understanding revenues would go to repay that investment.

“They’re interested,” he said, of the province.

“We’ll wait and see what they have to say. I’m hoping to hear something fairly soon.”

A number of companies are touting waste-to-energy technologies, including Fogdog Energy which has proposed a waste-to-energy project for Sylvan Lake. A final decision has not been made on which partnership the village will pursue. One of the advantages of the project is its relatively small scale.

“These units were originally built for warships, tankers and large work camps. They can be utilized for isolated communities. That’s why were trying to set this up as a pilot/demonstration because if we can show that it works here it could be used in other communities or on (First Nations) reserves.”

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