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Lancaster expected to approve new solid waste separation system

February 14, 2012 |  4:57 pm

Officials in Lancaster were expected to vote Tuesday evening to allow a solid waste recovery and conversion facility to be built in the city, enabling the high desert locale to better manage and utilize its waste streams.

Lancaster-based Ecolution, which touts itself as “an advanced solid waste separation and renewable energy developer” is proposing building the Materials Recovery and Conversion Facility under a partnership agreement with Lancaster.

Every year, thousands of tons of municipal solid waste are deposited in Lancaster landfills, burying millions of dollars in untapped recyclable materials, city officials said. The new waste facility would mine, separate and recover up to 85% of the recyclable materials that currently exist in the city’s waste stream, representing a 49% increase in efficiency, according to information provided by city officials.

Instead of using three separate curbside bins, Ecolution’s separation and conversion facility would allow trash, recyclables and organic waste, such as grass clippings and mulch, to be collected in just one bin, officials said. As a result, the costs associated with additional service trucks, drop-off locations, and multiple waste deposit sites would be eliminated.

Other benefits would be the facility’s ability to generate up to $5 million in annual revenue for Lancaster and sustain almost 200 permanent green-collar jobs, in addition to 100 construction-related jobs, officials said.

“Lancaster stands to be the first Net-Zero City in America,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said in prepared remarks.  “I support innovative public-private partnerships which promote green energy development and maximize our available resources.”

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-- Ann M. Simmons

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