Officials defend incinerator research

Subtitle: Director of Frederick County’s solid waste division says recent challenges to 2005 trash report are ‘disturbing
Source: Gazette
Author: Sherry Greenfield
Article Type:
Date Published: 07/03/2008

The man in charge of managing Frederick County’s solid waste is troubled that some residents question his recommendation to build an incinerator.Michael G. Marschner, director of Frederick County’s division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, is steadfast in his support of a 2005 report from consultant R.W. Beck, which recommends that Frederick County build an incinerator, also known as a ‘‘waste-to-energy” facility because it burns trash to generate electricity, to deal with its mounting trash. “The Beck report will be three years old in October, and I find it a little disturbing when people want to challenge the conclusions,” Marschner said this week. “I guess if they came back today to change it, the only thing to change is the increase in diesel fuel, which has gone up in the last three years. In that respect, the three-year-old report should be updated.” Since 2000, Frederick County has shipped nearly all its trash by truck from the landfill on Reichs Ford Road in Frederick to landfills in Virginia. Marschner himself has come under attack by critics that accuse him and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners of making a rash decision to build an incinerator instead of looking at alternatives. Commissioner Kai J. Hagen (D), the lone board member publicly against an incinerator, said he believes Marschner and his staff are wrong in their recommendation. Hagen advocates that the county study alternatives. “Mike Marschner is a very capable and intelligent man, but he is wrong on this,” Hagen said in a recent interview. “… No way would a private company get this far or go all the way without much more scrutiny.”