Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday February 26, 2008
Sludge in the City
East Hamilton could end up with two sludge incineration plants if the city proceeds with plans for a $60-million burner at the Woodward Avenue sewage treatment plant, while the $120-million Liberty Energy Centre is built a short distance away on Strathearne Avenue.
The city plant, still at an early planning stage, would just burn sludge, while the Liberty centre would also use wood waste as fuel, enabling it to produce electricity for sale to the Ontario power grid.
Some councillors argued last August that it might make more sense for the city to use the Liberty Energy power plant and asked staff to investigate the cost.
* Hamilton now spreads 53,000 tonnes of sludge a year — about 1,250 truckloads — on farm fields in surrounding municipalities. It predicts it will cost $158 million to continue over the next 30 years, if sufficient land remains available. It puts the cost of incineration at $134 million and says that would also reduce trucking and the resulting air pollution.
* The Liberty Energy Centre is designed to handle about 400,000 tonnes of sludge and 150,000 tonnes of wood waste a year. It would be built in two stages, each capable of producing five megawatts of electricity. Together, they would burn 1,200 tonnes a day of sludge and 480 tonnes of chipped trees, lumber and other biomass, producing enough power for 8,000 homes. For further information, go to libertyenergy.ca. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)