As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I moved to the Twin Cities recently and as always, have been keeping my eye out for sustainability related news, companies, and ideas. While eating at a local ice cream shop, the Grand Ole Creamery, I noticed a sign above the trash cans that promoted waste to energy. Xcel Energy, the local utility (as well as the utility back in my former home of Denver), was partnering with Resource Recovery Technologies, LLC (RRT) to generate electricity from waste.
Normally I would have taken note of this and filed it away, but a story on NPR about waste to energy in Sweden caught my eye as well. The debate over whether waste energy is a renewable resource aside, it does seem to be a growing area. Concerns over air quality and dioxins are real, but waste to energy plants are moving forward.
RRT is based in Minnesota and runs two facilities in the metropolitan Twin Cities. According to their website, they are “the Midwest’s largest processor of waste materials.” They divert roughly 400,000 tons of waste from the landfill, which generates baseload electricity for more than 22,000 homes per year. RRT also recycles more than 20,000 tons of metals annually.
With the state’s mandate of 30% energy from renewable sources, RRT’s waste to energy helps fulfill this requirement as a “renewable” energy source.
To learn more about RRT’s waste to energy process watch the video below: