SWACO sells available trash plant credits
Trustees for the Solid Waste Authority
of Central Ohio (SWACO) have voted to sell all available Sulfur
Dioxide (SO2) credits for the former Waste-To-Energy-Facility
(WTEF) in Columbus. Proceeds from the $10,014,675 sale of SO2
credits (minus expenses) will go toward the debt SWACO owes on
the WTEF to the City of Columbus. The credits for years 2011 through
2035 have been sold to Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. These
are the last credits on the plant SWACO has available to sell
until the federal government assigns new serial numbers in the
The pollution credits were created
as part of the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act. The credits were designed
to encourage power plant owners to reduce emissions and help cut
acid rain. Smaller plants such as the WTEF qualified under the
program in 2000. SWACO has a long term lease from the City of
Columbus on the plant which was closed in 1995 due to mounting
SWACO executive director Mike
Long hails the sale as one that brings many benefits. “This
will help SWACO reduce the debt on the trash plant and at the
same time it brings needed cash to the City of Columbus. The rebirth
of the former trash plant site continues to follow the philosophy
of reuse and recycle.” In March 2005 the retired Waste-to-Energy-Facility
was demolished. The demolition company paid SWACO over $300,000
from the proceeds it received following the sale of the plant
scrap. New life has come to the remaining structure which once
housed the tipping floor. The building now plays host to a paper
recycling operation that is projected to divert 30,000 tons annually
from the Franklin County waste stream.
SWACO Quick Facts
•Sale of S02 credits
to Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc for $10,014,675. After expenses
the City of Columbus will receive $9,964,675.
•Morgan Stanley paid an average $167.75 per credit. Total
number of credits sold amount to 59,700 or 2,388 allowances
per year. Credits sold are for years 2011-2035.
•Credits were authorized under the 1990 Federal Clean
Air Act. SWACO and the WTEF became eligible in 2000 when smaller
power plants were included in the legislation.
•SWACO has now sold all existing credits on the plant.
The U.S. EPA will have to assign new serial numbers before any
other credits will become available.
•The Waste-To-Energy-Facility was demolished in March,
2005. Most of the scrap and rubble from the plant was recycled.
Over $300,000 in proceeds from the sale of the scrap was returned
to SWACO. That money was sent to the City of Columbus as a credit
on the debt SWACO owes to the City under the lease for the plant
•Before the payment, SWACO owes $29,622,600 on the lease
to the City of Columbus. After the payment, SWACO’s debt
to Columbus will be $19,657,925.
•In 2005 SWACO refinanced the debt on the WTEF and made
a lump sum debt payment to Columbus of $50-million.
•The Columbus Waste-To-Energy-Facility began operation
August 1983. In 1989 the Ohio General Assembly created 52 solid
waste districts. One of them was the Solid Waste Authority of
Central Ohio(SWACO). Shortly after that the City of Columbus
leased the plant to SWACO. The SWACO Board of Trustees voted
to close the plant in November 1994 due to mounting costs.