Landfill alternative to generate energy

Oct 22, 2007

A Michigan company could become the first in the nation to generate electricity by incinerating waste, thereby reducing the need for landfills.

SunCrest Energy, based in southwest Michigan, wants to build a facility that would incinerate trash at more than 10,000 degrees, converting it to synthetic gas that would power electricity-generating turbines.

The facility would make Michigan a leader in clean energy and alleviate landfill burdens from trash imported from Canada. The plant could be operational within two-years, the Detroit Free Press reported.

While a similar plant is being proposed for Florida, the Michigan project could wind up being the first plant of its kind in the nation, said the company's president and founder, Marcello Iannuci.

"We sent a man to the moon in 1969, but we're still burying our trash in a big hole," the Free Press quoted Iannuci as saying.

City commissioners are debating over landfill expansion or reducing imported waste levels. Macomb County Commissioner Paul Gieleghem, a Democrat, said the new clean-energy facility is "an incredible benefit for future generations."

Democratic county commissioners will hold a public hearing in November to discuss the matter.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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