Panel anxious to tour biosphere

Friday, June 6, 2008

Interested but noncommittal seemed to be the mood of the members of the Solid Waste Committee on Monday when Chairman Don Ledford asked for reactions to the report at the previous meeting from Americas Waste-to-Energy.

Ledford summarized their thoughts when he said, "I'm anxiously awaiting a unit in the United States that is up and going."

Commissioner Larry McKnight gave his time to Kathy Fox of the Tri-County Environmental Association, who announced that there was a mini-biosphere operating in Charlotte, N.C. A field trip to visit this operation was immediately proposed and Ledford urged as many as possible to go and see it. Apart from this one, the nearest working biosphere is in Dundalk, Republic of Ireland.

Pamela Scott, sister of Doug Scott, of Americas Waste-to-Energy, brought an air quality report for the biosphere currently operating in Ireland. The report was excellent, stating that emissions from the plant were well below even the most stringent European Union guidelines.

Scott told the Tribune that the Lamar County, Ga., biosphere is likely to be delayed in starting because the equipment is made in China, and the Chinese government has commandeered the unit due to be shipped to Georgia to help with clean-up after the recent earthquake.

Americas Waste-to-Energy is actively searching for a way to manufacture the biosphere components in the United States.

In other business, Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas reported that curbside recycling was still going well, with quantities down slightly in last Wednesday's collection. He reported that recycling at the convenience centers is still increasing.

He didn't have hard numbers, but Thomas said that from the number of extra trips they were having to make to pick up full recycling containers from the convenience centers "we can see it's working in the county."

Pick up a copy of today's edition, Friday, June 6, 2008, for entire story.