Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SC should embrace the Suck

While nearly 70 protesters gathered at the State House today to protest South Carolina becoming the Putrefaction State, leaders in Berkeley County are looking beyond just making cash for trash and are planning on turning their garbage and waste into a different kind of green.

From the P&C:

MONCKS CORNER — Berkeley County officials are drawing up an ambitious plan to turn the smelly gas and rotting garbage in the county's giant landfill off U.S. Highway 52 into power and money.

The project has many puzzle pieces, but if they fit together, officials said their plan could extend the life of the landfill for decades, reduce the dump's noxious odors, generate enough electricity to power homes in a small city and earn or save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Colin Martin, executive director of Berkeley County Water and Sanitation, said the goal is to take five different wastes — methane, sewage sludge, waste water, food and yard waste and wood debris — and turn them into power. All of this would happen at the landfill.

Other municipalities are converting one or two of these to power, but Martin said no one in the country has done so many in one place. "It just makes sense to do them all together," he said. "I believe when we're done, we'll be managing waste better than any county in South Carolina, and that we'll raise the bar nationally."

Monday night, County Council unanimously voted to take the first step toward this trash-to-cash vision and sign a memorandum of agreementwith Green Energy Partners, a company in Greenville that specializes in alternative energy systems. Green Energy Partners would help the county build and pay for the project and share in any profits.

Martin said it could cost up to $125 million, though that's a rough estimate. He said the county and Green Energy Partners are still hammering out a funding plan, and he hoped the proposed federal economic stimulus program might be one source of money.

Do read the rest of the article to see the specific details of exactly how they plan to go about greening the county.

Embrace the Suck South Carolina. Raise the rates if you like, but utilize the stuff available waste and turn it into green gold. Produce electricity save money on your electric bills, or export the stuff to other states. Create clean burning natural gas to convert more buses and vehicles as a part of a sustainable mix to use in conjunction with our drive for a hydrogen and hi- tech economy.

I really should plot the different locations for methane exchange facilities in South Carolina and those that are planned along with the other green projects.

I wonder if the folks at the State House even notice?

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