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Pennsylvania company wants to build $45 million waste-to-energy facility in the city | Paterson Times

Pennsylvania company wants to build $45 million waste-to-energy facility in the city

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Delta Thermo Energy (DTE) of Trevose, Pennsylvania wants to build a 50,000 square feet waste-to-energy municipal solid waste facility in the city. The facility will cost around $45-$55 million to build, said Robert Van Naarden, president of the company.

Naarden pitched the project to city council members last Tuesday. He said the facility utilizes technology developed in South Korea, Japan, and Germany to convert refuse into clean fuel through a process called hydrothermal decomposition.

He said the four-acre waste disposal facility will produce “no noise” and “no odor.” He explained how the facility will take trash and convert it to energy: waste is presorted at the facility and placed into a pit, said Naarden. He said the waste is then run through a pressure cooker like system that ultimately produces engineered pulverized fuel, a black substance that resembles crumbed soil.

That black soil like substance is then burnt and electricity is generated, said Naarden. He explained there won’t be any plumes of smoke as is the case with incinerators.

Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres did not buy Naarden’s argument that his facility is unlike an incinerator. “He can call it whatever he wants, I call it an incinerator,” said Torres last Tuesday.

There may only be slight odorless steam that will be released from the facility as it burns the material, said Naarden.

“You mean to tell me you can have a building where you can burn this and people won’t smell it?” asked an incredulous Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman. Cotton and other council members were provided with small glass bottles inside of which was the dark soil like substance.

“That’s correct,” responded Naarden.

There may not be any odor coming out of the building, but as trucks line up to drop refuse at the facility, the neighborhood may suffer from constant smell garbage, added Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large. “Even though the facility does not create smell those trucks do,” said Morris.

Morris asked about the number of jobs the facility will create. Naarden said it will take 75 employees to build the facility which will have the capacity to handle 205 tons of waste daily. He further said 29 full-time workers will be needed to keep it running. He said the average salary of the full-time employees will be around $61,000.

“They are nice jobs,” said Naarden.

The facility will also be able to make money by charging the city a tipping fee, said Naarden. He said it will also sell electricity to the grid that’s produced from the waste, pull recycling from trash such as ceramic, glass to sell on the market, and sell fertilizer produced from the waste.

Naarden said financing for the project will come from private investors and from the issuance of tax exempt bond through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). When his company attempted to build a similar plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania, media reports indicates the company wasn’t able to secure the funds.

“That’s not true,” said Naarden dismissing those reports. “That’s still an ongoing legal thing. The city breached their contract with us.”

Naarden has his eye on a site in the corner of Madison and 3rd Avenue (pictured), where he wants to build the plant, but that site is contaminated, according to Torres. The mayor said the location was the site of a future school some years ago, but when the city’s school district figured out the site was contaminated it backed off.

“If we determine it’s contaminated, we may walk away from that facility,” said Naarden last Tuesday. On Monday, he revised his comments, “We’d take care of it if it made sense.”

Torres said finding four acres in a densely populated city isn’t easy. When asked if he is in favor of the project Torres said, “No, and I told him that.”

“I don’t understand why the mayor is against it,” said Naarden. He even attempted to sweeten the deal by proposing a public-private partnership. He suggested employing local high school students to gather garbage from the street to make city streets clean, but that idea backfired.

“The worst part of it all, to add insult, he thought our high school kids are just good enough to pick up garbage on the street,” remarked Torres.

“That’s obnoxious,” retorted Naarden. “How could that be a bad thing? I’m willing to pay the kids $10 an hour.”

Naarden pointed out that when the mayor knows a site is contaminated and he isn’t doing anything about it that’s a “complete dereliction of his duty.”

“By law, NJ State and DEP, if the administration knows a site is contaminated, they must remediate it,” said Naarden. “It’s a requirement.”

Naarden said there is one site in the Bunker Hill area that the company is looking at and another on 21st and Madison Avenues that he’s eying.

He also said there are 22 other municipalities in New Jersey the company is currently in talks with to setup a waste-to-energy facility. He would not provide any names. It’s not clear if there are any takers. The city appears cold to Naarden’s proposal, though he said a majority of the council members are on board.

Torres said he mentions other countries like South Korea, Germany, and Japan, using similar technology to turn waste into energy, but there’s nothing like it in the United States. The company’s presentation lists 87 waste-to-energy plants in the nation, but sewage sludge and DTE’s use of septage as well as its process to eliminate toxins is untried in the United States.

“Nowhere in the United States he has that going,” said Torres.

Naarden mentioned a testing facility in Egg Harbor in South Jersey. Torres dismissed the site as little more than a facility on trailer. Naarden said that facility is inside a building and not on a trailer as the mayor asserted.

Story last edited: 5:45 p.m.

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  • Richard Walter

    No odor, no noise, I do not believe it. What about all the garbage trucks driving through Paterson. What about our streets. They are in bad shape now but let us run more garbage trucks across them. Have you looked at West Railroad Ave lately?

  • Latanya Brown

    Citizens of PATTERSON tell Narden and the Mayor this idea stinks… foul odors, noise and contamination. That place will cause more cancer cases than the toxins in our food have already caused. birth defects / infant mortality will greatly increase in patterson and the idea of high school students working for $10.00 an hour in a place like patterson will cause those very same kids to forego the idea of getting out of patterson in search of an education or better job opprotunities and slowly but surley work themselves to death handling contaminated waste for a living for a wage of 10.00 which equates to minimum wage after taxes. Patterson tell Narden and the Mayor to build the facility out in the suburbs somewhere..maybe hackensack or elizabeth……….see how well it goes over..

  • GaryChandler

    Incineration doesn't stop one critical pathogen. Might as well call smoke plumes from the power plant "nerve gas." http://alzheimerdisease.tv/alzheimers-disease-spreading-faster-via-biosolids-reclaimed-water/

  • http://www.energyjustice.net EnergyJustice

    Funny that they pretend they aren't building in Allentown because of a legal dispute with the city. Their dealt fell apart because we organized Allentown Residents for Clean Air (ARCA) and kicked their asses as best we could. See http://www.stoptheburn.org

    We gathered thousands of signatures to put a clean air ordinance on the ballot, which the company refuses to comply with. They managed to keep us from going to the ballot with bogus arguments they got a local judge to buy (lawsuit on that still pending). In the course of those delays, their investors weren't ready to put money down on it. As that unfolded, we worked with Allentown residents and appealed their air and waste permits. The waste industry also challenged DTE's air permit. Then, once they failed to get things built on schedule to keep their 35-year waste-supply contract with Allentown going, the city stopped accepting DTE's excuses and delays and dropped the contract since DTE breached it. Their air permit was then rescinded by the state. Most recently, in the course of our challenge to their waste permit (a general permit usable by any company in PA), the DEP revoked that permit altogether last month. Most of this history is documented (not easy reading, though) at http://www.stoptheburn.org/documents

    Other cities in PA have rejected Delta Thermo. Eventually, they'll learn that no matter where they go, we'll be there to help the community stop them again until they give up their "pretend we're not an incinerator" trash and sewage sludge burning schemes. If you want to know more about their process, or about incineration in general, or want help stopping them, or just want to know more on the history of DTE in Pennsylvania, please contact me. Mike Ewall, Energy Justice Network, 215-436-9511, mike@energyjustice.net. Good background on incineration can be found here: http://www.energyjustice.net/incineration

  • Don

    I say do it.. they complain nobody has jobs in Paterson but don't wanna give chances for jobs.. so what if it stinks , cover your nose, Paterson smells like shit anyways deal with it , you don't like it than move out, an education is always great . but an education doesn't guarantee you a "great" job , be real with yourself . 10 dollars is better than 0 an hour selling drugs doing dumb shit.. just saying , you worried about birth defects and all this crap ? start looking at the food you eat , it all has GMO's and horrible things in it , if you also worried about working people to death what do you think almost 80 percent of Americans do until they die ? they work .. they work for almost their entire lives if they can .. we all have to eat right .. wake up look at the big picture ,

  • http://www.energyjustice.net EnergyJustice

    Funny that they pretend they aren't building in Allentown because of a legal dispute with the city. Their dealt fell apart because we organized Allentown Residents for Clean Air (ARCA) and kicked their asses as best we could. See http://www.stoptheburn.org

    We gathered thousands of signatures to put a clean air ordinance on the ballot, which the company refuses to comply with. They managed to keep us from going to the ballot with bogus arguments they got a local judge to buy (lawsuit on that still pending). In the course of those delays, their investors weren't ready to put money down on it. As that unfolded, we worked with Allentown residents and appealed their air and waste permits. The waste industry also challenged DTE's air permit. Then, once they failed to get things built on schedule to keep their 35-year waste-supply contract with Allentown going, the city stopped accepting DTE's excuses and delays and dropped the contract since DTE breached it. Their air permit was then rescinded by the state. Most recently, in the course of our challenge to their waste permit (a general permit usable by any company in PA), the DEP revoked that permit altogether last month. Most of this history is documented (not easy reading, though) at http://www.stoptheburn.org/documents

    Other cities in PA have rejected Delta Thermo. Eventually, they'll learn that no matter where they go, we'll be there to help the community stop them again until they give up their "pretend we're not an incinerator" trash and sewage sludge burning schemes. If you want to know more about their process, or about incineration in general, or want help stopping them, or just want to know more on the history of DTE in Pennsylvania, please contact Energy Justice Network. Good background on incineration can be found here: http://www.energyjustice.net/incineration

  • http://www.energyjustice.net EnergyJustice

    Funny that they pretend they aren't building in Allentown because of a legal dispute with the city. Their dealt fell apart because we organized Allentown Residents for Clean Air (ARCA) and kicked their asses as best we could.

    We gathered thousands of signatures to put a clean air ordinance on the ballot, which the company refuses to comply with. They managed to keep us from going to the ballot with bogus arguments they got a local judge to buy (lawsuit on that still pending). In the course of those delays, their investors weren't ready to put money down on it. As that unfolded, we worked with Allentown residents and appealed their air and waste permits. The waste industry also challenged DTE's air permit. Then, once they failed to get things built on schedule to keep their 35-year waste-supply contract with Allentown going, the city stopped accepting DTE's excuses and delays and dropped the contract since DTE breached it. Their air permit was then rescinded by the state. Most recently, in the course of our challenge to their waste permit (a general permit usable by any company in PA), the DEP revoked that permit altogether last month. Most of this history is documented (not easy reading, though) at the ARCA website under "documents." Look up Stop the Burn dot org (no spaces).

    Other cities in PA have rejected Delta Thermo. Eventually, they'll learn that no matter where they go, we'll be there to help the community stop them again until they give up their "pretend we're not an incinerator" trash and sewage sludge burning schemes. If you want to know more about their process, or about incineration in general, or want help stopping them, or just want to know more on the history of DTE in Pennsylvania, please contact Energy Justice Network… and check out the incineration section of the Energy Justice (dot net) website for info on incinerator hazards.

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