Comprehensive test results show ash from EFW facility is safe, well managed
Detroit Renewable Power (DRP) continues to expand and enhance the long-term environmental efficiency, safety, and sustainability of its energy-from-waste operations. In addition to significant financial and resource investments to improve waste processing, energy production, environmental compliance, and the reduction of unwanted neighborhood impacts such as odor, DRP has worked diligently to reduce potential impacts from its process effluents and byproducts.
On December 21, 2012, DRP submitted a formal petition to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requesting approval to dispose of the facility’s combustion ash in a Type II sanitary landfill, as established under Michigan’s Solid Waste Management Act, Part 115 of Act 451 of 1994 and its implementing rules. DRP currently disposes of this ash, which results from the combustion of municipal solid waste in the facility, at a monofill.
DRP converts approximately 3,300 tons per day of MSW into renewable energy in the form of electric power for utility distribution and steam for heating and cooling. The plant recovers and recycles more than 100 tons per day of ferrous and non-ferrous metals before combustion, and sends approximately 550 tons of ash to the monofill daily.
The petition describes extensive sampling and comprehensive laboratory analyses conducted in 2012 in accordance with the U.S. EPA Guidance for the Sampling and Analysis of Municipal Waste Combustion Ash for the Toxicity Characteristic (EPA 530-R-95-036) and with procedural recommendations from Michigan MDEQ. The results of the tests demonstrated that the ash meets applicable criteria for disposal in a Type II landfill, consistent with the practice of other EFW facilities in the State of Michigan.
The petition also describes initiatives DRP has undertaken, such as metals recycling and the injection of lime slurry into the plant’s combustion exhaust, that significantly improve the benign characteristics of the ash. DRP will continue these procedures without interruption, even after the ash residue is approved for disposal in a Type II landfill.