Applying New Technologies to Manage Solid Waste and Biosolids in Juneau

Disposal of biosolids and solid waste in an environmentally positive and cost effective method has posed a serious issue for Juneau and other Southeast communities for many years. Ever since the incineration of Juneau’s solid waste and biosolids was discontinued in 2004 and 2010, respectively, effective long­term disposal has been neglected due to cost limitations.

Abstract

Disposal of biosolids and solid waste in an environmentally positive and cost effective method has posed a serious issue for Juneau and other Southeast communities for many years. Ever since the incineration of Juneau’s solid waste and biosolids was discontinued in 2004 and 2010, respectively, effective long­term disposal has been neglected due to cost limitations. Temporary solutions, with their own sets of expenses to the city and its residents, have been implemented, but as Juneau’s landfill reaches its capacity and complications with shipping biosolids continue, it is apparent that a long­term and environmentally safe method is needed immediately. Through discussion with Juneau’s primary waste disposal officials and our own research, we explored the advantages and disadvantages of a wide variety of disposal methods. We concluded that a plan based upon the use of plasma gasification, a technology that converts solid waste and biosolids into usable fuels, would be ideal for Juneau’s situation. It will be able to convert Juneau’s incoming and already landfilled waste into usable products, reducing runoff into the nearby Mendenhall Wetlands and Gastineau Channel. We propose that some of the project be funded by cruise ship head taxes in order to offset the large amount of solid waste they contribute to the landfill. As the project is aimed at restoring Alaska’s environment the remaining cost should be undertaken by the state’s discretionary funding, an income derived from sources harmful to Alaska’s environment, such as oil production and drilling. The cost of this technology is, of course, quite high, but it is time that we end our neglectful actions toward the environment of Southeast Alaska.

I. Introduction

The disposal of the solid components of wastewater treatment, known as biosolids or sludge, and solid waste, commonly referred to as trash, in both an economically feasible and environmentally responsible way, poses a serious problem in Juneau and other communities in the region of Southeast, Alaska. The main problem facing many communities is inadequate funding to implement the changes needed to mitigate the impact of waste on the environment.

Beginning in the early 90’s, the majority of the solid waste in Juneau was incinerated. The remainder was deposited in local landfills, along with the ash remnants of incineration. This method decreased landfill runoff into nearby waters by decreasing the amount of solid waste that was landfilled. Since 2004, however, when funding for the solid waste incinerators ended, all of Juneau’s solid waste has been landfilled (Eric Vance, pers. comm.). This is an unpleasant solution for those living nearby because of the smell and appearance, but it has been inexpensive and easy process for the city as a whole. As a result, however, larger amounts of of runoff from the unlined landfill, known as leachate, have been entering nearby waters and the landfill is approaching capacity faster than predicted. It is apparent that Juneau is in need of new disposal methods for its solid waste.

For many years, biosolids from the local wastewater treatment plants were incinerated at the Juneau­Douglas Wastewater Treatment Facility, reducing bulk and odor. In 2010, however, the incinerator ceased to function, and since then all sludge, which contains any anthropogenic contaminants washed down drains of domestic residences, commercial properties, or Juneau’s storm drains (Hsieh, 2009), has been buried in Juneau’s increasing landfill or shipped, at great expense, to a treatment plant in Oregon. Neither of these methods provides a realistic, long­term solution for biosolid disposal.

We will discuss in this paper previous biosolid and solid waste management strategies used in Juneau. We also discuss the pros and cons of the numerous disposal methods, including expenses and feasibility, and what we believe is optimal for Juneau’s specific needs. We will compare Juneau’s situation to Arlington, Oregon, and the use of plasma gasification there. Lastly, we will discuss, in­ depth our proposal that the use of the new technology of plasma gasification be implemented in Juneau.

II. Current Solid Waste Disposal in Juneau

Solid waste in Juneau is currently collected weekly by Arrow Refuse, a subsidiary of Alaska Pacific Environmental Services, and dumped at Waste Management Inc.’s (WMI) landfill. This landfill is also the collection site for all of the hazardous waste in Juneau. In March 2007, Arrow Refuse reported 6,800 residential and 550 commercial customers, producing a total of 33,000 tons of solid waste for that year (http://www.juneau.org/pubworks/projects/SWMS/documents/FINAL_CBJ_Solid_Waste_Mgt_Strategy_Fe b_2008.pdf). All solid waste collected in Juneau is currently added to the expanding landfill pile, along with the cruise ship waste during the tourist season (May­September). This pile is locally infamous for its appearance and strong odor, and as the mountain of trash grows, it dominates the landscape and can now be seen from Egan Drive, Juneau’s main highway.

The unlined landfill leaks liquid waste into surrounding waters, thereby harming the ocean and the rest of the environment. Typically, landfills have liners placed under them before solid waste is piled on top. The liners are designed to help prevent the leakage of liquids from the solid waste pile, known as leachate. Because Juneau’s landfill was unlined when it was built, it leaks large amount of leachate into the Mendenhall Wetlands (Jim Westcott, pers. comm.). As shown in Figure 1, the landfill has a direct impact on the Gastineau Channel and the Mendenhall Wetlands because of their proximity.

Figure 1: Map of the Juneau landfill and surrounding area (http://www.google.com/earth/) Hazardous waste is collected by the nationwide company Dispose Hazardous Waste at Juneau’s

landfill. At this time, the collections are only once a month and waste must be brought to the landfill. (http://www.juneau.org/pubworks/hazardwaste.php). Despite these designated days, some Juneau residents still dispose of their hazardous waste improperly by mixing it with the rest of their solid waste, adding toxic chemicals to the landfill pile and runoff into the ocean (Eric Vance, pers. comm.).

Juneau’s economy depends largely on the tourist industry. Currently, a maximum of six cruise ships can dock every day, amounting to nearly one million passengers in 2007. The city hopes to increase this number to eight cruise ships per day (Fhed, 2007). Throughout the tourist season, cruise ships collectively add 300­400 tons of waste per week to the landfill, almost doubling the amount of waste from 500 tons per week during the off­season to 800 to 900 tons a week during the tourist season (Eric Vance, pers. comm.). If more cruise ships will dock each day, it is to be expected that more waste will be added to the Juneau landfill.

III. History of Solid Waste Disposal in Juneau

Juneau’s current landfill has been in use since 1960, and was sold to WMI in 1988. For a while, Juneau had two incinerators located at the same site as the landfill, thereby decreasing waste bulk and odor, and extending the life of the landfill. However, use of both machines stopped in 2004 when repair costs of the machinery became unaffordable and tighter regulations placed on air emissions of incinerators made their use impractical. Since 2004, all solid waste has been buried in Juneau’s growing landfill. During the period of incineration, the landfill was predicted to have 57 years of use left. Now, however, the landfill is approaching its maximum capacity even more rapidly (Eric Vance, pers. comm.).

IV. Definition of Biosolids

Biosolids result from the process of wastewater treatment. During treatment, wastewater is digested by bacteria, breaking down the original organic solids of the sewage. The broken down solids, as well as dead bacteria from the process, then become part of the biosolid. The resulting wastewater is sent through further processing before being discharged into the ocean, while the solid component of this process becomes a cake­like sludge known as biosolids. The water content of this sludge is then further reduced and the product can be disposed of in various ways, such as being heat dried, turned into fertilizer, or incinerated as it was in the past in Juneau (http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/wastewater/treatment/biosolids/genqa.cfm).

V. Current Biosolids Disposal in Juneau

Juneau has two main wastewater treatment facilities serving its residents: the Mendenhall and Juneau­Douglas Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Altogether, they service about 30,000 people every day and treat around four million gallons of wastewater daily.

Both the Juneau­Douglas and Mendenhall treatment facilities process the wastewater via the stages of pre­treatment, secondary treatment, disinfection and solids handling. During pre­treatment, large, easily removable objects such as trash and grit are taken out of the water. Both treatment facilities lack primary treatment; after pre­treatment wastewater flows directly into secondary treatment tanks where aeration occurs. Bacteria digest any organic matter in the wastewater while the tank continuously pumps air throughout the system. The resulting effluent is further disinfected and water is discharged into the ocean.

Solids collected throughout the system must be disposed of using a digester, which processes them by allowing bacteria to digest any organic material, similar to the aeration basins of secondary treatment. A polymer mixed with the solids allows them to clump together into a mud­like sludge. A belt filter press then decreases the percentage of water in the sludge from 98.5 to 84 percent. The resulting sludge from both facilities used to be incinerated, but it is now shipped to Arlington, Oregon (Jim Westcott, pers. comm.).

VI. History of Biosolid Disposal in Juneau

Biosolids from the treatment facilities used to be incinerated at the Juneau­Douglas Treatment Facility, turning it into a highly concentrated ash. The process of incineration itself is harmful to the machinery and in 2010, after about 20 years of use, continuous complications in the machinery caused the incinerator to exceed its practical use (Bruce Botelho, pers. comm.). The cost of a new incinerator for Juneau was projected to be $15 to $17 million dollars (Hsieh, 2009). This was deemed too expensive for a method that is self­destructive to the machinery. City officials were aware of the incinerator’s limited lifespan, but because it was politically unpopular to save taxpayer’s money for a problem that was not immediate, planning and saving for a new method did not begin. Part of the money collected from Juneau residents’ sewage rates was also designated to be put aside to pay for this sort of situation. However, this never happened and the city does not have money saved to pay for a new method (Jim Westcott, pers. comm.).

The biosolids were buried in the landfill located in Lemon Creek from 2011 to 2012. Because of the broken solid waste incinerator, WMI did not want to also add biosolids to the already increasing landfill. As a temporary solution, the city then began shipping the sludge via barge, at a high cost, to a landfill in Arlington, Oregon for further processing and disposal leaving and unnecessary carbon footprint on the environment (Eric Vance, pers. comm.).

Every ton of biosolid shipped costs $5 to bring the waste to the barge, $40 for plastic liners for the containers and lime to control odor, and $112 to barge and dispose of the biosolids in Oregon. Juneau is producing, on average, 135 tons of biosolids per week, amounting to 7,020 tons per year all shipped at a total cost of $1,1,02,140.

Constant concerns about odor and leaking of biosolids into the ocean were expressed due to the poor condition of shipping containers. In order to solve this problem, 40 new specialized shipping containers were purchased in 2013. At about $20,000 each (Rorie Watt, pers. comm.), the containers add up to nearly $800,000 spent on a temporary solution.

VII. Waste Disposal in Southeast Alaska

Many other towns in Southeast Alaska have problems with solid waste and biosolids disposal. Ketchikan, Sitka and Petersburg are the largest communities in Southeast after Juneau, but they still produce significantly less solid waste and biosolids every week in proportion to their size. These towns ship their solid waste to Seattle weekly, negating the need for a large landfill. Ketchikan produces about 314 tons of biosolids each year (Lenny Neeley, pers. comm.), all of which is composted and put in the ground, a method that only works for their unique environment (Charles Mackey, pers. comm.). Even smaller towns, such as Wrangell, Haines, Craig, and Metlakatla, however, don’t have sufficient ways of disposing both their biosolids and solid waste and are in need of one.

VIII. Options for Waste Disposal i. Incineration

Incineration turns biosolids and solid waste into ash, removing the need for shipping. Juneau has used incineration in the past, however the process itself harms the machinery, resulting in the eventual breakdown of the plant. Also, the concentrated ash is highly toxic and must be disposed of in a safe manner (Rorie Watt, pers. comm.). The Supreme Court of the United States decided in 1994 that the toxic ash cannot simply be piled on the ground, as Juneau did in the past, but must be treated as hazardous waste and stored in expensive, specially constructed, leakproof containers (Greenhouse, 1994). Tighter air emission regulations were also put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2001, limiting the amount of nine pollutants: cadmium, carbon monoxide, dioxin/furans, hydrogen chloride, lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide (http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/combustion/regulations.html). The cost of updating the incinerator to meet the new regulations and constant repairs made the process unfeasible in the past and would still not be an economical method for disposal now.

ii. Heat Drying and Fertilization

Heat drying treats biosolids by heating them from direct or indirect dryers to evaporate as much water as possible from the sludge, producing an end product with less volume. This dried out product is a Class A biosolid, ideal for fertilizer. The major advantages of this treatment are its minor impacts on the environment and the profits that can be made by selling the resulting product as fertilizer. However, the technology used is expensive, a large amount of energy is needed, dust is created that can harm plant workers, and there is a strong odor that most communities do not tolerate (http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/upload/2006_10_16_mtb_heat­dryin g.pdf). As residents already complain about the smell from the landfill, heat drying is not an appropriate treatment for Juneau’s biosolids. The fertilizer created during the process would also have to be shipped south to be utilized because of the lack of demand in Alaska. Shipping costs would likely outweigh any profit made by selling the fertilizer, making this option improbable (Rorie Watt, pers. comm.).

iii. Regional Process for Disposal

A regional process for biosolid or solid waste disposal in Southeast has been a regular topic in the ongoing discussion about waste disposal. If a method were to be placed in a designated town that could support a large intake, it would provide a way for other communities to safely dispose of their waste without the high cost of a method located individually in every town. However, this seemingly perfect solution to an issue facing many communities has a major drawback. The cost of shipping all the waste around Southeast is as expensive as sending it to Seattle, where an incinerator capable of supporting the amount of waste already exists (Rorie Watt, pers. comm.). If there were a way to service the towns without shipping all of the waste back to a central location, regional disposal would be a viable option.

iv. Plasma Gasification

An emerging technology, plasma gasification, can convert solid waste, hazardous waste, and biosolids into usable fuels, materials and electricity (Belgiorno, 2003). It diverts wastes from landfill buildup to create a beneficial and environmentally safe product, without the secondary by­product of air emissions or ash, unlike traditional incineration (http://www.visionplasma.com/overview.html). Although a fairly new technology in the solid waste industry, plasma gasification has the potential to be the leading environmentally­friendly process for the disposal of wastes.

Before plasma gasification, pictured in Figures 2 and 3, the material must be treated until it is of uniform consistency and dry. Next, the waste is heated to extreme temperatures by plasma torches so that all hazards and poisons are destroyed. Carbon­based materials are then broken down into gases, while leftover inorganic materials are removed and cooled into a glass­like product known as slag, which is then safe to use for purposes such as construction concrete. In the third stage, gases are “cleaned” to form fuel known as syngas (synthesis gas). The fuel can then be burned to power steam turbines to generate electricity (Dodge, 2012).

Syngas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced during the reaction of plasma gasification. Purification involves the removal of carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, sulfur compounds, tar, and ash (http://www.chemrec.se/Syngas_the_link_from_feedstock_to_synthetic_product.aspx).

Figure 2: The process of plasma gasification (Leal­Quirós,

Figure 3: An overview of a plasma gasification plant (Byun, 2012).

The process of gasification has been around since the 1800s, when conventional heat sources such as fire were used to heat the waste. In contrast to regular gasification, however, in which fire or a more conventional heat source is used, plasma gasification uses plasma torches for heat. The advantage of plasma torches is that they create a very direct, intense heat, while still being relatively easy to operate (Dodge, 2012). Plasma torches can destroy every material on earth other than nuclear waste. Plasma, found in lightning or on the surface of the sun, is the fourth state of matter, in addition to solid, liquid, and gas (Reimel, 2012).

Although this technology is fairly new in the waste industry, there are plants around the world that have used it successfully. Utashinai City, in Japan, has a facility that processes up to 183 tons of waste each day and creates a net gain of 4100 kilowatts (kW) of electrical energy (Mountouris, 2008). A ten ton per day plant in Korea was started in 2008, and has been in operation for three and a half years without incident (Byun, 2012).

Vision Plasma Systems has recently developed the first mobile plasma gasification plant, the Arc Master I mobile unit. It is relatively small and easy to transport by truck, barge, or plane. Each unit is capable of treating up to five tons of non­hazardous and hazardous waste a day, and only produces syngas, net electricity, and recyclable metal ingot. The Arc Master I mobile unit is completely powered by energy created during the process and, if ran at maximum capactiy, creates a surplus of 240 kW of energy produced on site (http://www.visionplasma.com/press­12­12­2012.html). What makes the Arc Master I unique is that it brings the method of disposal to the waste, rather than bringing the waste to the disposal site, which is ideal for the smaller communities of Southeast Alaska. If one or two units were put on a barge, they could easily be transported throughout Southeast, as most communities are accessible solely by sea or air.

Juneau is in dire need of a solution, and the amount of incoming waste, along with the size of the landfill, makes Juneau an excellent town for plasma gasification. Juneau’s projected use of its landfill is, at this point, very short, unless a method of eliminating or reducing the city’s solid waste volume emerges (Eric Vance, pers. comm). A new process of biosolid disposal is also necessary, as the current method is not sufficient (Rorie Watt, pers. comm). Plasma gasification solves both problems in one technology, while simultaneously improving the overall quality of the environment by eliminating biosolid leakage during shipping, landfill runoff, and the need for a new incinerator that would contribute to air pollution and toxic ash. Plasma gasification can also be used to safely dispose of hazardous waste, as it can be disposed of more frequently, and in the same manner as regular solid waste. A mobile version, the Arc Master I, provides a method of bringing waste disposal to other communities in Southeast, solving the issue of waste disposal in other towns as well.

IX. Arlington, Oregon Comparison to Juneau

Columbia Ridge Landfill, also owned by WMI, supports one of the largest landfills in the US. The 700­acre operation, located in Arlington, Oregon, disposes of around 35,000 tons of solid waste, mainly from Seattle and Portland, weekly. A portion of the solid waste becomes buried in a landfill, and as of November 2011, the remainder is destroyed and converted into fuels through plasma gasification. The plant, run by the start­up company S4 Energy Solutions, is the first to utilize municipal household waste to make fuels that can be burned or used for other industrial purposes (http://www.prnewswire.com/news­releases/s4­energy­solutions­announces­plasma­gasification­project­86259507.html). The $18 million plant can process 25 tons of waste every day (Kelly, 2012). Juneau would need a bigger plant than the one currently used in Arlington, but the Pacific Northwest environments are similar. The process of implementing plasma gasification technology in Juneau would be streamlined because WMI is already familiar with running the technology in Arlington.

X. Funding

Plasma gasification is expensive, but it is cutting­edge technology for an environmentally­positive method to dispose of and recycle waste into usable products. For this reason, we are proposing that industries that adversely impact Alaska’s environment should help fund a project aimed at aiding it. Oil revenue, earned through environmentally­harmful methods of collection, accounts for 90% of Alaska’s discretionary spending (http://www.alaskabudget.com/revenue/). Because of this, the cost of plasma gasification should be partially funded by the state’s discretionary fund. Cruise ships, a huge industry in Southeast, also operate at a cost to our environment, by increasing the amount of solid waste coming into Juneau’s landfill during the tourist season (Eric Vance, pers. comm.). An increase in the tourist head tax should be implemented to help fund plasma gasification.

i. Alaska State Discretionary Fund

Discretionary spending, unlike entitlement spending, which is used for mandatory funding such as public schools, isn’t automatically obligated to previously enacted laws for how it’s spent. This means discretionary funding supports many of Alaska’s capital improvement projects such as building bridges, highways and docks. Most of the money comes from oil revenue, amounting to 90% of the entire fund (http://www.alaskabudget.com/revenue/).

Oil exploration, development and drilling adversely affect Alaska’s environment in numerous ways, but because oil drilling has an enormous positive influence on Alaska’s economy, it will not be stopped. Revenue from oil production, namely discretionary funding, should be used to fund projects that help to conserve Alaska’s environment and reduce the footprint left behind by industrialization. This source of income for the state should help pay for the leading technology in environmental friendly methods of waste disposal: plasma gasification.

ii. Cruise Ships

In 2010, the Alaska Senate approved a head tax cut from $46 to $34.50 per person, based on an industry estimate that fewer people would come to Alaska in the future due to the high head tax and consequently, the higher cost. This cut cost the state an estimated $22 million (Becky Bohrer, 2012). However, the amount of visiting cruise ship passengers has been steadily increasing since 2008. This suggests that a higher head tax, if re­established, would not hurt the economy as previously predicted. Cruise ships contribute waste to every town they visit throughout Southeast, almost doubling the amount of incoming waste to Juneau’s landfill in the tourist season (Eric Vance, pers. comm.). If the head tax were raised again, it could help support the cost of plasma gasification technology that would, in turn, destroy the waste produced by tourists. Some will argue that an increase in head tax will decrease the number of tourists per year, but we feel that degradation of our environment would harm the tourist industry far more.

XI. Proposal

Juneau, and the rest of Southeast, must resolve the issues caused by current waste disposal procedures. The current method of shipping or burying biosolids created during wastewater treatment does not provide a long­term solution and is at a cost to our irreplaceable environment. The landfill is rapidly approaching its capacity and mandates a change in waste management methodology. Plasma gasification solves these issues with one technology, all while turning our waste into usable products. The plant would also pave the way for the technology to be implemented throughout Alaska, such as the use of an Arc Master I mobile unit for other Southeast communities.

Safe, responsible, and diverse in the types of waste it can process, plasma gasification provides the ideal technology for Juneau’s current situation. Next, we will discuss the budget and methods installing and running plasma gasification in Juneau in three main phases and then discuss future possibilities of the technology.

i. Budget

The construction and operation cost of a plasma gasification plant is expensive. However, revenue can be generated through the process to help support running costs of the machine. Cruise ship head tax and discretionary funding will also help support the costs.

The cost of the plant and the first year operation costs are illustrated in Table 1. The construction of a plant that can support 100 tons per day would be about $24.8 million. Fixed charges, such as labor costs, training expenses, overhead charges, travel expenses and safe maintenance costs add up to $2.39 million per year. Variable charges with the machinery include chemical, water and maintenance fees and add up to about $0.82 million per year. Insurance for the plant is $0.94 million per year.

The funding for the project and the first year operation cost, illustrated in Table 2, will come from a head tax increase, discretionary funding, and revenue from electricity production. Profits can be made from selling electricity generated by steam turbines in the plasma gasification plant. The turbines generate 5000 kW of energy per hour, of which 2000 kW are needed to power the thermal plasma torches. The excess 3000 kW produced adds up to 23.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year (Byun, 2012). Electricity in Alaska costs 17.5 cents per kWh (Jiang, 2011), so profit made from selling the electricity would be about $4.17 million per year. This profit would cover the fixed costs, variable costs, and insurance every year. If waste from Juneau is no longer shipped to Arlington, Oregon, the city will also save approximately $1,102,140 every year (Rorie Watt, pers. comm.). Increasing tourist head taxes from $34.50 back to $46.00 could create a revenue of $22 million per year (Bohrer, 2012). This money would fund most of the construction costs. The rest of the construction, startup, and first year’s operating costs, amounting to about $3 million, will be paid for by the discretionary fund.

Construction and One Year Operation Cost

Construction

Fixed Charges

Variable Charges

Insurance

Total

Cost (millions of dollars)

$24.8

$2.39

$0.82

$0.94

$28.95

Table 1: Construction and one year operation cost of 100 ton per day plant (Byun, 2012)

Funding and

Revenue Sources

Head tax1

Discretionary funding

Electricity2

Total

Income For First Year (millions of dollars)

$22

$3

$4.17

$29.17

Table 2: Funding and revenue for 100 ton per day plant

1Bohrer, 2012; 2 Byun, 2012, Jiang, 2011

ii. Phase I

The city of Juneau along with the other Southeast towns must first put together a team of engineers to develop an installation plan for a 100 ton per day plasma gasification plant in Juneau. The state’s discretionary funding and the revenue from the increase in tourist head taxes will fund this purchase. Once all of the funding is obtained, building of the plant will begin on Juneau’s landfill.

iii. Phase II

The plant will be placed in its own building on the landfill site, close to the solid waste source. Shipping of Juneau’s biosolids will end, and the biosolids will, instead, be destroyed through plasma gasification. Disposal of hazardous waste in the same manner will also begin. Juneau’s already landfilled waste will begin to be disposed of only during the tourist off­season (September­May), when the amount of incoming waste is smaller. A specially qualified team will continuously monitor the maintenance of the machinery and make repairs if necessary. The shipping containers recently purchased by Juneau will be rented out to other communities for waste disposal purposes. The slag produced by the process will be used for state construction projects.

iiii. Phase III

If the Juneau plant operates smoothly, an Arc Master I will begin circulation to Southeast towns, such as Haines, Wrangell, Metlakatla, and Craig. If the circulation goes well, other regions in Alaska may choose to purchase their own Arc Master I for mobile waste disposal. Due to the geography of the different regions, there might be different transportation methods around the state. For example, while the Aleutians may prefer a barge, like Southeast, cities in the interior might opt for a truck to carry the unit.

XII. Conclusion

There will always be a need to dispose of human­generated waste, and the need for alternative methods of fuel will only increase as we deplete our natural resources. Juneau must change the current methods of waste disposal as they are destroying our environment. Plasma gasification converts waste into usable fuel making it the leading technology in environmentally friendly waste disposal, ideal for Juneau. Our plan will not only reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with the current solid waste and biosolids disposal, but provide a means to support the cost of this expensive, but necessary, solution.

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  30. Watt, Rorie. City and Borough of Juneau Engineering Director, The Marine View Center, 230 S. Franklin St., 3rd Floor, Juneau, Alaska, 99801. 907­586­0800.
  31. Westcott, Jim. Wastewater Treatment Supervisor, 2009 Radcliffe Rd Juneau, Alaska, 99801. 907­586­0393.

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Applying New Technologies to Manage Solid Waste and Biosolids in Juneau

Disposal of biosolids and solid waste in an environmentally positive and cost effective method has posed a serious issue for Juneau and other Southeast communities for many years. Ever since the incineration of Juneau’s solid waste and biosolids was discontinued in 2004 and 2010, respectively, effective long­term disposal has been neglected due to cost limitations.

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