Business

Waste-to-energy at landfill still a few years away

While the New Providence Ecology Park (NPEP) is preparing for energy production through natural methane production, the company’s Project Manager Timothy Hodge explained that the production of power through waste-to-energy will depend on the company’s ongoing study of its garage collection.

According to Hodge, energy production through the capture of methane from the compacted landfill is still a few years away.

He said the landfill’s re-emergence as a properly filled and compacted site will mean NPEP will have to conduct studies that will determine the amount of methane production. He explained that the company could produce as much as 1.5 megawatts of power that could be sold back to the grid.

“As the landfill turns anaerobic we will model and estimate when to put the methane recovery in,” Hodge said.

NPEP, formerly known as the New Providence Sanitary Landfill, has been transformed into a proper and sustainable landfill after the government signed an agreement with Waste Resources Development Group and Providence Advisors Limited, for a $45 million, multi-phased redevelopment of the landfill.

Hodge said while fires have not been snuffed out completely at the landfill site, as these are common at landfills, he explained that the fires that once threatened nearby communities will largely be a thing of the past due to new procedures and protocols put in place by NPEP.

Tires at the site are being recycled and reused for roads and fill. Green waste is being separated from other types of waste and is being recycled.

Hodge explained that NPEP will be able to monetize green waste by producing mulch.

He added that the company will also begin a full-scale recycling program which it hopes to make some money from, though Hodge contends recycling is more of a labor of love than a money making venture.

“People misunderstand the value of materials,” he said.

“Aluminum cans have value, but glass is very expensive to process and has no value. A lot of times it’s not a super lucrative business. We approach it as a service.

“We’re not holding our breath waiting for the markets to change for us to survive or make money, we’re trying to do it in a very conservative, very stable way.”

Thus far, he said, the transformation of the landfill into the NPEP has been on schedule and on budget.

There is a notable absence of the scent of garbage on the site and security and safety protocols have been stepped up.

Hodge said birds and vegetation have also returned to the site, which the company hopes to eventually turn into a golf course.

Hodge added that the NPEP hopes to be able to assist with the disposal of garbage from hurricane ravaged sites on Grand Bahama and Abaco.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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