Washington County, Maryland Announces Waste-to-Renewable Energy Initiative

Washington County Positioned as Leader in Environmentally Responsible Waste Management

Hagerstown, MD August 07, 2013


Washington County, Md. is partnering with America First, Inc. (AFI) to launch a waste-to-renewable energy initiative, which utilizes municipal solid waste (MSW) and converts it into a fuel source, at no cost to the County. Washington County is poised to become a model for other counties in the State, and a national and international leader in waste-to-renewable energy technology. In addition, the project provides an economic development tool to attract companies looking for a sustainable community with zero waste opportunities.

Financial Benefits

The AFI and Washington County collaboration will be a true public/private partnership with revenue sharing between Washington County and AFI. Washington County is providing the location and feedstock (raw material) agreement, and bears zero upfront financial risk since AFI is the sole signer on the loan. AFI will secure funding required for project completion based on a long-term feedstock agreement. The County bears no fiscal responsibility for either construction of the project or operational expenses.

Project Phases

The initiative will be implemented in two phases. Phase I, which will commence six to eight months after ground breaking, will consist of the construction of a facility to convert MSW (including yard, agriculture, sewer sludge waste, etc.) into refuse-derived-fuel (RDF). Phase II, which will commence 12 to 18 months after ground breaking, will consist of the construction of a full-scale gasification plant.

The completion of both project phases would create approximately 40 to 70 new jobs. Additionally, the County is estimating net profits up to $200,000 per month by becoming a supplier of RDF and low-cost clean-burning diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, home heating fuel, and Naphtha (used to make high-octane fuels).

Environmental Impact

The waste-to-renewable energy process will have a positive impact on the local environment by reducing the MSW entering the landfill by 95 percent as well as reducing the odor, birds, and noises normally associated with landfill operations. All enclosed processes are environmentally safe with a net loss in emissions over traditional landfill operations.

The project relates to other sustainability projects the County has furthered such as methane to energy and solar generation of power. This innovative approach in processing MSW will position Washington County ahead of the curve to comply with upcoming federal and state regulations; furthermore, the County will serve as an international benchmark in environmentally responsible waste management.

For additional information, contact Public Relations and Community Affairs Manager James Jenkins at 240-313-2384.

About Washington County, Maryland Government
Washington County, Maryland Government strives to fulfill its duty to the citizens of Washington County with regard to operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. This vision is used to ably assist the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County in achieving goals for moving the County forward as present needs and future plans are addressed.

According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the Washington County General Fund has one of the lowest costs per capita for services provided of all 23 counties and Baltimore City. This is attributed to the efficiency, staffing levels, and cost containment exhibited in Washington County Government operations. Visit http://www.washco-md.net for more information.

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