"Providing Hometown Reliability"
Installed in 1996, this facility makes paper pellets from our city's waste paper. These paper pellets are then used as fuel for our Unit 4 generator. A feed system was purchased in 1997 to load the pellets onto our coal conveyor to get the fuel pellets to the generator.
The pellets provide a fuel that is easy to handle with equipment designed to handle and burn coal, especially in the stoker boiler we use. It is also consistent in size and provides a uniform burn. Burning the raw paper waste would require a different kind of boiler. Typically, a fluidized bed boiler would be used for that purpose.
Also, due to federal waste handling regulations, we can not burn the raw paper waste by itself unles we were operating a waste incinerator. Operating a waste incinerator would involve a more stringent set of regulations. To avoid that, the paper must be blended with coal. Pelletizing the paper makes this blending possible.
In the first year of operation, 1,500 tons of pellets were produced for fuel. We are also able to sell a large amount of cardboard that comes into the facility. The cardboard, at times, has a higher dollar value as a recycled product versus a fuel pellet. We are selling an average of about 800 tons of cardboard each year. In February of 1998, we applied for a Solid Waste District grant to add a drop-off facility. Our new Recycling Drop-Off Facility now accepts glass, metal, cans, aluminum, plastic jugs, and all paper products.