Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 17


Posted Feb. 6

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 10 a.m., Feb. 16)
Waste conversion program back to square one after Plasco debacle
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Any hope the City of Ottawa had of converting thousands of tons of garbage to energy suffered a major setback last week when its one-time partner filed for creditor protection.

Plasco's gasification technology was supposed to be the panacea to Ottawa's solid waste management problems. When it was first sold to Ottawa city council in 2005, the expectation was for the Plasco plant to process as much as 135,000 tonnes of garbage a year and extend the city's Trail Road landfill site by 28 years.

Plasco spent $125 million of its own money on a test plant in the city's west end and in 2011 the two parties signed a 20-year contract to begin turning garbage into energy.

As it turns out the Plasco plant encountered problem after problem as did the company itself. The situtation came to a head last week when Plasco filled for what is essentially bankruptcy protection, leaving the City of Ottawa back at square one.

As Mayor Jim Watson susinctly summed up, “While it’s regrettable the Plasco arrangement did not work out, the fact is we have to move forward and find other technologies other than burying garbage in a hole."

The city isn't wasting any time in trying to find an answer to its waste problems. Early last month, a Request for Information for residual waste management technologies was issued internationally, generating 37 responses from as far away as Korea, Japan, Germany and Spain.

Of the 37 submissions only four firms provided the city with documentation that demonstrated the operation of a commercial-sized facility that processes municipal solid waste.

The next step in the procurement process would be a Request for Proposals from the four firms. That process is on hold, however, until after council receives an update on the Organic Waste Diversion program, more commonly called the Geen Bin program. That report is expected later this year.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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