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Trash for Cash Project "Still in Progress"
Sunday, 23 August 2009

August 23--  The project to convert trash to cash at the Toombs County landfill is months behind schedule, but still working, according to officials with a company called "Americas Waste to Energy."

Last year the company signed a memorandum of agreement with Toombs County commissioners and estimated they would be operating at the landfll by this past Spring.  Company CEO Paul Hester says the permitting process with the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has taken longer than expected, but says it's important to do it right.  "When you're dealing with health and humans and the envinronment, you've got to make sure waht you're doing is correct and that everyone has a chance to have their opinion voiced," he said.

The company plans to install a super high temperature incinerator called a Biosphere at the landfill and says it is anticipating air quality permits from the state within 45 days.  If that stays on track, Hester expects to be in operation by the end of the year.

"The equipment should arrive sometime by the end of September.  It could take up to 90 days of testing for EPD and we anticipate full operation before the end of the year," he said.

The company plans to pay Toombs County at least $1 million a year to burn its trash which will generate electricity for Georgia Power.  Once in operation, Hester expects many visitors to Toombs County from other local governments interested in converting trash to cash.

"We couldn't have asked for a better place as a showcase once we get this started.  We've actually got delegations from all over the world who are waiting and want to come see it.  Vidalia has the infrastructure to support that because private planes can land on the city's 6,000 foot runway," Hester notes.

Officials say the initial investment on the project is $38 million by Americas Waste to Energy.

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