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186 22 A Conceptual Solution for the State of California As I write this book, after so many years of experience in this complex and sometimes misunderstood field, I am reminded again how my high school dean of boys suggested that, if I did not get my shit in order, I would grow up to be a garbage collector. For better or worse I did become a garbage man, and now I feel the need to at least try to give something back to the great State of California. That said, I ask myself: What is a long-range solution for the state of California? As someone who has been in the business for sixty years, in my waning years and at no charge to the state, I respectfully offer a conceptual—but logical and feasible—long-term solution for a comprehensive regional and state solid-waste-management disposal system. A solution must commence with an environmentally sound, regional , large, and long-term series of sanitary landfills. We need the appropriate number of regional landfills to serve the entire state, with haul distances of no more than 150 miles. In most cases, only material that cannot be recycled or otherwise used goes into those landfills. Once we can agree to this, we must design and implement a regional plan for a specific series of material recovery facilities (MRFs) or transfer stations, where a program of flow control can be implemented. All waste generated within an area would be collected and disposed of in that area’s designated facility, where all waste would be received, processed, and recovered—and all recyclable materials would be recovered, processed, and sold. During the process of recovery, the secondary byproduct would be the refuse derived fuel (RDF). This raw material would be transferred into trailers and delivered to one of several strategically located biomass power stations. Once the RDF is delivered to the power station, it would be further processed to convert the material into a uniform size, moisture-balanced, and predictable combustible fraction and be introduced into a combustion chamber to create steam energy for electricity generation. The materials that 187 A Conceptual Solution for the State of California cannot be recycled or used for fuel would be disposed of at the designated regional landfill. Many independent waste-collection entities may be opera­ ting within a designated region, so those entities, using the MRF/ trans­ fer station, will be charged a uniform standard per-ton disposal fee. If there should be a physical problem or a maintenance issue of any kind at an MRF or power facility, the landfill is always available, assuring a continuation of regularly scheduled wastecollection services. As an added incentive for creating dependable electrical power along with these proposed regional power stations, they could be designed to use not only RDF for a power source, but also to include natural gas as a backup supplementary source of energy. This system would not only assure a continuing source of electrical power in the case of a breakdown of RDF delivery or an unpredictable increase in moisture content in the natural gas, but it would also provide a backup energy boost to increase internal combustion temperatures to assure maximum air quality effi­ ciencies. I recall the dramatic and extremely appropriate response from the German engineer in Munich. He said: Sir, this a power station first, one that generates a substantial amount of needed electrical power, that uses two sources of fuel to develop that power, namely coal and refuse. . .and because we look upon our refuse as a fuel, we solve a secondary problem, namely the need of refuse disposal. A profound and accurate assessment? You bet! Some may argue that this type of proposal would be difficult or impossible to implement on a grand scale. However, we could start with a study to determine how many tons per day would be necessary to justify the investment necessary to build a series of MRF/transfer stations and a single RDF/natural gas electrical generation facility. For example, let’s assume that the per-ton-of-waste generation needed to justify the investment is 3,000 tons per day. We would then look at a region in California where 3,000 tons of waste is generated each day. Then we would determine the number and capacity of the MRF/transfer stations required to process that waste stream to create the initial development of RDF. 188 A Conceptual Solution for the State of California...


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MARC Record
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