Sandy May be Testing Ground for New Waste-to-Energy Facility

Andrea Smardon – KUER

A new company has a proposal to turn Sandy city’s household trash into electric energy. If approved, it would be the first facility of its kind in Utah. The Department of Environmental Quality is holding a hearing Thursday evening in Sandy to discuss the proposal.

The idea is take Sandy’s trash, use a thermochemical process to convert it to methane, then burn the gas to generate electricity.Navitus Sustainable Industries claims it can do all this while reducing air pollution. Sounds good, right?

“Better than sliced bread,” says Bradley Angel, Executive Director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice. But Angel is suspicious of these claims, based on similar facilities around the country that have failed to deliver on such promises. “We have tremendous concern about the proposed Navitus gasification plant. We don’t think it’s clean, we don’t think it’s renewable energy, and frankly, I think the people of Sandy are going to be guinea pigs,” Angel says.

Nicole Martin is the communications director for Sandy city. She says it’s a worthwhile experiment to work towards a zero waste society.

“I believe it is an exciting prospect, for us to be the home to a technology that could possibly turn Sandy into America’s first total recycling city,” Martin says. “With that said, we want to make sure that all the proper vetting is done. We certainly want this to be a clean and safe facility and we’re trusting on the agencies that are tasked with ensuring that’s the case.” (…)

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