The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 14, 2013

CCASWA disagrees on what to do with bio-reactor


Engineer C.J. Lage presented a chart comparing the costs for the bio-reactor versus the landfill. Assuming 3,000 tons were taken in at a rate of $44 per ton, both would bring in $132,000 in income. However, according to the 2011 fiscal year records, the cost of operating the bio-reactor is $89,607. After expenses, the landfill would bring in $77,000 in revenue while the bio-reactor would make $16,000.

"If you look at it in a simple process, this is a giant composter here. We can operate a composter a heck of a lot cheaper than $61,000 a year," Doug Goodall, representing Delmar, said.

If the center removed the bio-reactor, Seward said the yard waste could be ground by the same company that does the landfill's trees. He pointed out this material would be a better compost because it would contain no garbage. Lage felt ceasing operation of the facility would be the best for the bottom line.

"Sometimes the bottom line isn't the correct environmental line," Graf said. She wanted to look into repairing the bio-reactor.

A new, more powerful motor would cost $10,000 to $11,000. The center would also have to pay $3,000 to $4,000 to use a crane to turn it. Graf thought they could pay that. Seward's concern was that the trunnions might be ruined. He said last time they had to replace them, it cost $25,000.

Seward will look into more options to discuss with the board during the May meeting.

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