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Waste-to-energy plant proposed

Residents take aim at Kentucky company’s gasification design

— A proposal to build a waste-to-energy plant was met by opposition from Bethlehem residents after an initial presentation on the project was made to the Town Board.

During the presentation at the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, April 25, representatives from Kentucky-based Recycling Solutions Technology provided information about its waste gasification process and the types of recycled end materials that are created as a result. So far, only one other plant exists in the country using the company’s technology.

“This could be such an opportunity for the town, but it’s really something that has to be vetted,” said the town’s Director of Economic Development and Planning Michael Morelli. “The proposal is so early that they haven’t even formally submitted an application yet. The company just wanted to explain the process in general terms before the board.”

The proposal calls for the plant to be built on a parcel of land near the port of Albany owned by a real estate company run by Victor Gush, a local developer. In previous years a recycling center and a riverfront development called Harbor at Beacon Pointe have been proposed for the site.

Lee Bazzle, an RST director of technology, summarized the gasification process. He also fielded questions from residents and members of the board.

The new technology patented by RST uses a single-stream method to clean and feed waste into a kiln that slowly rotates as it is heated. Metals are picked out of the material with magnets. According to the company, the reusable byproduct ash is sifted through a screen and gases are transported to a separate reduction chamber to produce power that is then fed back to the grid. The remaining fumes are passed through a pollution control unit to remove contaminants before being released into the air.

The company argues that it design is different from a typical incineration plant, a fact that was questioned by many residents who spoke out about the proposal.

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