APRIL 2012

California city launches trash to fuel processing facility

Lancaster, California officials are partnering with a local firm to advance a trash to fuel waste solution. Lancaster entered into an agreement with Ecolution, a Lancaster-based corporation, to develop an advanced municipal waste handling system.

This new facility and its patented GreenStream™ technology will radically reduce the percentage of trash making its way to the local landfill. Instead, the facility will generate large supplies of green-certified recycled materials usable by other industries, generate renewable fuels and help the city achieve its goal of becoming the Green Capital of the World.

Once completed the facility will employ roughly 200 people and help the city achieve at least an 85 percent diversion rate. Currently, the city diverts approximately 55 percent of its waste from the landfill but Assembly Bill 341 signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown creates a 75 percent diversion goal for the state as a whole, and the local mandate will remain at 50 percent.

Ecolution’s GreenStream system separates as many as 20 different types of recyclable material from the municipal trash stream, as well as organic matter. The organic matter can then be processed into various forms of energy, including biofuels and electricity. The small percentage of remaining waste making its way to the landfill is comprised almost exclusively of inert and inorganic matter that is harmless to the environment. As such, trash headed to the landfill will be safer and less susceptible to rodents, bird and nuisance odors than current flows.

The GreenStream system will also simplify recycling for residents. Currently, Lancaster uses a three-can trash system divided into recyclables, green waste, and unrecyclable trash. The GreenStream process utilizes a single can, taking the confusion out of correctly recycling. Instead of three trucks collecting trash at a curbside, only one will be needed to collect it. All trash separation occurs in a completely enclosed building at the Ecolution facility.