January 21, 2011
The Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority Board voted 6 - 3 to move forward with two high-tech options for converting garbage to fuel at its Jan. 20 meeting.
The board chose Plasco Energy Group of Canada over Spain's Urbaser, Inc, to build a plasma gasification plant at the Johnson Canyon Landfil in Gonzales, and opted to move forward to select another company to turn otherwise non-recyclable paper waste into usable pulp and fuel using a steam autoclave.
It is still unclear who would build the steam autoclave, says SVSWA Diversion Manager Susan Warner.
"There are vendors who can manufacture it," Warner says, adding that those vendors have not yet been publicly identified. The question is, would SVSWA be an an owner-operator or investor."
Salinas City Councilwoman Jyl Lutes, along with Monterey County Supervisors Lou Calcagno and Fernando Armenta voted cast the dissenting votes, arguing in favor of taking more time before making a decision, Warner says.
The next step is an environmental impact report to determine if the proposals pass muster with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Plasco will foot the estimated $300,000 to $400,000 bill for its EIR. Warner notes the SVSWA plans to invite interested environmental consultants to submit bids for the job in the coming months.