Contractors learn about incinerator options

County expects jobs, added work to come from project
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
08/22/2012
The permits are not yet in hand, but Frederick County is already talking construction and job creation related to the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator. On the eve of a public hearing to discuss one of three permits needed from the Maryland Department of the Environment, the county hosted a discussion with contractors and business owners who would be in line to bid on certain jobs.

Living in another financial reality

Frederick News Post
Sally Sorbello
07/15/2012
The Frederick County Commissioners do not seem to understand the financial reality of the proposed Frederick/Carroll incinerator, since they claim that the NMWDA is on the hook for the bonds. That is like saying your mortgage banker is responsible for paying off the mortgage for your house. The NMWDA continues to mislead the public and our officials into thinking the incinerator is somehow a financial boon, that it will pay for itself. They mislead us because the incinerator means money in their pockets, to the tune of $500,000 a year at 3 percent markup, plus an ever-escalating membership fee (it is now $125,000 a year and will rise to $275,145 a year by fiscal 2015) for the next 30 years

County to seek waste-to-energy suitors

Carroll County looking at other options
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
06/29/2012
Frederick County has the green light to pursue new partners for the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator plant. Members of the Carroll County Commissioners signed a letter Thursday to allow the discussions, but the move does not remove Carroll County from the partnership. Frederick County officials welcomed the news."We have interest from three counties," said Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young. "We haven't really been able to aggressively pursue that because of the way the contract is written." Young confirmed that Prince George's, Howard and Washington counties have expressed interest. Carroll County officials have made it known for months that they intend to pursue other trash-disposal alternatives.

County Commissioners tell Frederick to look for new partner for incinerator as they explore alternatives

Carroll County Times
Carrie Ann Knauer
06/28/2012
The Carroll County Board of Commissioners took a first public step toward getting out of a deal to build a waste-to-energy incinerator with Frederick County Thursday by drafting a letter to the Frederick board encouraging them to find another partner to take Carroll's place. Board President Doug Howard, R-District 5, said it was his understanding that the Frederick Board of Commissioners was drafting a similar document Thursday that would grant Carroll freedom to pursue alternative methods of solid waste management. “This should not be construed as the ultimate decision, but a step forward where we can each begin to explore things in a broader way,” Howard said.

Burnin’ Down The Waste

Trash Talk
Frederick Gorilla
Kelly Brook
04/27/2012
“No Incinerator!” scream the signs. If you live or work in Frederick County, you’ve seen them in windows, on lawns and in cars for years. You can’t help but notice them. When you see them, maybe you cringe from the vision of soaring incinerator smokestacks spewing a black, smoky, noxious sludge of particulates, carcinogens, and climate-altering acids. Or maybe you roll your eyes imagining the “tree-hugging, peace-loving, Common Market-shopping” conservationist who might have posted it. If you’re like most people, though, you take a moment to acknowledge your concern for the environment, worry for a moment about how this will affect your taxes, wonder what the heck this incinerator debate is all about—and then forget about it and get on with your day.

WTE and electricity pricing

Frederick News Post
Dan Andrews
04/13/2012
In a recent FNP article it was stated that waste incineration was "good for our community." As your local Sierra Club chairman, I am writing to tell you this is not true. This very controversial and extremely expensive proposed project is a mistake and can still be stopped. The construction bonding has not been approved by your commissioners, and Carroll County, a project partner, is poised to pull out of the deal. Waste incineration is a mistake for the following reasons...

Consultant: County should perform solid waste audit

Carroll County Times
Carrie Ann Knauer
04/11/2012
A Frederick County consultant reaffirmed the need for an audit of Carroll’s waste stream after giving a presentation to the county solid waste work group Tuesday evening.Steve Cassis, of Solid Waste Analysis Group in Frederick, was a guest at the work group’s second meeting Tuesday. Cassis reviewed the basics of a similar presentation he gave to Frederick County in 2009 recommending that Frederick and Carroll turn away from a plan to build a 1,500-ton-per-day waste-to-energy incinerator and instead focus on a regional resource recovery park. The resource recovery park would include a number of elements to divide the counties’ collected waste into separate elements where each type of waste could be reused, recycled or properly disposed of.The recommended elements for the resource recovery park would include a materials recovery facility where recyclables could be sorted for sale, a composting operation, construction and demolition recycling, electronic waste recycling, a reuse center where people could claim used goods, a household hazardous waste collection area, secure document destruction, a maintenance facility and demonstration areas and classrooms. Cassis said he would recommend having an area of at least 300 acres for such a facility so that there is plenty of room for the operations, potential growth and to maintain a green space buffer from neighboring properties.

Carroll BoCC smarter than Frederick BoCC?

(Better to proceed with caution rather than risk incurring what could prove to be a crushing financial obligation.)
Frederick News Post
Nick Carrera
04/04/2012
Questions have been raised about the financial justification for the Frederick-Carroll county incinerator. The Board of Carroll County Commissioners responded by holding a solid waste forum to explore all waste options. Now, the president of their board has formed a Solid Waste Advisory Group to study all possibilities for handling solid waste.

Carroll County hears trash options

Residents speak on waste-to-energy plan
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
02/29/2012
Carroll County's commissioners Tuesday night publicy reviewed whether to continue a partnership with Frederick County to build a waste-to-energy incinerator plant in Frederick before about 150 concerned residents. The commissioners heard from a variety of groups, ranging from those who were in favor of waste-to-energy to those offering more environmentally friendly alternatives -- including composting. The groups were invited to speak at a forum at Carroll Community College in Westminster. The meeting was called as Carroll County's commissioners debate the idea of moving forward with the plan.

County forging ahead with incinerator

Public hearing on the project set for today
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
12/07/2011
Frederick County is forging ahead with a waste-to-energy incinerator despite some hesitation from its partner in the project. Carroll County, which can opt out of the multimillion-dollar deal once final costs are determined next year, remains on the fence about whether it will stay on board. "We understand they are taking a look at the whole project," Michael Marschner, special projects manager for the county, said during a meeting Tuesday with the editorial board at The Frederick News-Post. "They need to make whatever decision is right for their county." Should Carroll County pass on the opportunity, it would leave Frederick County on the hook. "If you don't have another equity partner, I think the project stalls," Marschner said.

Official says WTE incinerator construction remains on track

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
12/01/2011
Construction of a waste-to-energy incinerator in Frederick County is on pace to start by August 2012, and the plant could be up and running three years later. All that remains is final permitting, which is still being reviewed, Michael Marschner, special projects manager for the county, told the Rotary Club of Frederick on Wednesday. "It's not like you're getting a permit for a house," Marschner said. "There are a lot of things that get checked and double-checked." The county has so far hit no major snags in the process, he said. "Everything is proceeding pretty much on schedule," Marschner said. "These are large projects that take a lot of time to develop." Frederick and Carroll counties have an agreement to build the 1,500-ton-per-day incinerator at McKinney Industrial Park in Frederick. The plant will burn trash to generate electricity for both counties.

Fact checking 'WTE 101, continued'

Frederick News Post
Karin Tome
11272011
If Harvey Alter were graded on his Nov. 17 commentary ("WTE 101, continued"), he wouldn't receive a very high score. It's not what he said, but what he didn't say. The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority will issue bonds to pay for the proposed trash incinerator, but the county is obligated (through a separate contract with NMWDA) to make regular payments to them, such as you would for your mortgage. The county's System Benefit Charge is not "so-called," but very real. As a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Alter knows very well that the primary revenue for this business operation is based both on tipping fees and the SBC fee (which is found on residential and commercial property tax bills and can be raised without limit.) If the revenue from tipping and SBC fees, and the electricity sales and ferrous metal recovery don't cover those expenses, county residents will have to make up the difference through higher SBCs. Alter states that "... anecdotal evidence from around the country is that communities with WTE recycle more" and "Recycling and WTE together conserve and recover more resources than either alone." That statement is true only where recycling is at a very low level and the tonnage of ash (if used for landfill daily cover) and ferrous metal found in the ash are counted as recycling. However, as recycling increases it will compete with incineration, especially for plastics and paper. We could spend, however, a fraction of the cost of the incinerator on alternative ways to divert waste from the landfill (such as a commercial compost facility or manned recycling centers throughout the county (in addition to Reich's Ford Road) and we'd be able to recover many more resources and conserve more energy than would be produced by burning them. For example: Manufacturing a ton of newspaper from trees takes 11,699 kilowatt hours; if that ton of paper is recycled, a new ton of paper can be made using only 6,442 kWh, but if it's burned it only produces 1,875 kWh of electricity.

Fact checking ‘WTE 101, continued’

Frederick News Post
Karin Tome
11272011
If Harvey Alter were graded on his Nov. 17 commentary ("WTE 101, continued"), he wouldn't receive a very high score. It's not what he said, but what he didn't say. The Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority will issue bonds to pay for the proposed trash incinerator, but the county is obligated (through a separate contract with NMWDA) to make regular payments to them, such as you would for your mortgage. The county's System Benefit Charge is not "so-called," but very real. As a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Alter knows very well that the primary revenue for this business operation is based both on tipping fees and the SBC fee (which is found on residential and commercial property tax bills and can be raised without limit.) If the revenue from tipping and SBC fees, and the electricity sales and ferrous metal recovery don't cover those expenses, county residents will have to make up the difference through higher SBCs. Alter states that "... anecdotal evidence from around the country is that communities with WTE recycle more" and "Recycling and WTE together conserve and recover more resources than either alone." That statement is true only where recycling is at a very low level and the tonnage of ash (if used for landfill daily cover) and ferrous metal found in the ash are counted as recycling. However, as recycling increases it will compete with incineration, especially for plastics and paper. We could spend, however, a fraction of the cost of the incinerator on alternative ways to divert waste from the landfill (such as a commercial compost facility or manned recycling centers throughout the county (in addition to Reich's Ford Road) and we'd be able to recover many more resources and conserve more energy than would be produced by burning them. For example: Manufacturing a ton of newspaper from trees takes 11,699 kilowatt hours; if that ton of paper is recycled, a new ton of paper can be made using only 6,442 kWh, but if it's burned it only produces 1,875 kWh of electricity.

Hefty NMWDA fees

Frederick News Post
Sally Sorbello
10/27/2011
In response to the call by the Frederick County Commissioners for ideas on how to cut county costs, I have one: Stop being a member county of the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority. NMWDA is the independent "instrumentality" of the state of Maryland that will own the regional trash incinerator to be sited here in Frederick County. NMWDA has been leading Frederick and Carroll counties toward the possibly bankrupting incinerator since Frederick County became a member in 2004, and NMWDA will benefit handsomely from the facility.Not including the huge construction costs and escalating management/administrative fees, Frederick can save millions of dollars in membership fees alone if we quit being a member county of NMWDA.

Commissioners may join effort against land-use plan

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
08/24/2011
The Frederick County Commissioners might join forces with leaders in nearby counties to push back against aspects of the Maryland governor's land-use plan, a document they fear could erode local authority if carried out. The drafted plan emerged as one of the hot topics last week at the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City, where Gov. Martin O'Malley offered county government officials a presentation about the vision for smart growth. While the state has insisted the document, called PlanMaryland, doesn't commandeer county land-use decisions, Commissioners President Blaine Young said he would like to see that spelled out in the draft. "Why won't you include the language that it (the plan) is not going to be mandated and dictated from the top down?" Young said. The idea of a partnership of central and western Maryland governments flowed out of a Friday breakfast that included Young and commissioners presidents from Washington, Allegany, Carroll and Garrett counties. Young said the board leaders agreed to go back to their counties and pitch the coalition plan to their fellow commissioners.

Public decries waste-to-energy project

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
07/22/2011
Potential pollution, traffic and expense associated with a waste-to-energy incinerator drew a group of residents to a meeting Thursday with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Members of the public who attended the meeting were not convinced that the county plant will receive enough trash to make it profitable, and if it does they said too much material that could be recycled will be incinerated instead.

WTE debacle

Frederick News Post
David Herman
06/04/2011
As a Republican, I am outraged that the "fiscally conservative" Board of County Commissioners is moving forward with an oversized, overpriced, unnecessary and polluting incinerator project. At a recent Maryland Department of the Environment informational meeting, the MDE made it clear that industry is on the "honor system" for reporting problems to them. In the case of Wheelabrator, this is not appropriate since it is a serial permit violator and subject of lawsuits by communities. The company simply pays the fines assessed and continues operations as usual while citizens must pay millions to breathe and drink the contamination. While Commissioner Billy Shreve did attend part of the recent MDE meeting, his attention was on his laptop rather than on the discussion. The entire BoCC appears to be asleep, to have not read the contract, and to continue the mistake of the previous board led by Jan Gardner -- who had very little understanding of the financial debt and pollution she was signing us up for.

Young says Carroll County must decide whether to remain in incinerator partnership

Frederick commissioners' president also questions moving the trash-burning plant
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
03/31/2011
Frederick County Commissioners' President Blaine R. Young said today Carroll County must decide if it wants to still be a partner in the planned incinerator. Young (R) asked Michael G. Marschner, the special projects manager with the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, to meet with Carroll County commissioners and see if they are still on board with the incinerator, or what some people call a "waste-to-energy facility" because it burns trash to produce electricity. Young said he wants an answer in 30 days. "We need to find out the status of Carroll County," he said. "Are they in or are they out?"

Commissioners expected to vote on incinerator today

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
06/23/2009
A trash debate that has dominated county discussions for years could be resolved today. Commissioner Charles Jenkins is expected to make several motions that will allow the county to go ahead with a proposed incinerator, also known as waste-to-energy because it could generate electricity. Commissioners John L. Thompson Jr. and David Gray are expected to be in support. "What should have been done 20 years ago, will hopefully be set in motion tomorrow," Jenkins said by phone Monday.

Public hearing on waste-to-energy brings crowd

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
02/18/2009
Debt, dioxins, outdated technology and traffic were just some of the reasons Frederick County residents gave for opposing a proposed waste-to-energy plant during a public hearing before the County Commissioners on Tuesday night. Most of the speakers opposed the incinerator, which is projected to cost the county $325 million. Carroll County would assume an additional $200 million of the cost, if the two counties decide to proceed. The commissioners are considering whether to build the incinerator to handle 800 tons of trash Frederick County residents generate per day. Most of that trash is being sent to an out-of-state landfill. County officials said that is not a long-term solution. At least 60 people signed up to speak at the hearing, which will be continued at 7 p.m. Thursday. Three local developers said the incinerator would be a blight for residents and businesses who are within a few miles of the Md. 85 corridor. The site being considered is on Metropolitan Court, off English Muffin Way, across the Monocacy River from the Monocacy National Battlefield.