WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — The West Palm Beach office of SCS Engineers has been selected by the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (SWA) to develop a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plan, as well as a carbon credit and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) Management System.
The SWA’s overall objectives for the plan include:
• Determine the optimal methodology and use it to identify the baseline carbon footprint for operations of the SWA and each of its elements (transfer, disposal, WTE, recycling, et cetera).
• Identify projects and activities that can reduce SWA’s GHG emissions, potential obstacles, and opportunities to incorporate carbon credits into project financing.
• Evaluate options for registration and third-party verification of GHG credits and RECs.
• Develop a plan for implementation by SWA to register, manage, and market carbon credits created as a result of SWA efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
• Identify RECs created by SWA’s energy production activities.
• Develop a system for tracking regulatory and market trends for GHG and REC markets.
• Identify and develop other marketable environmental attributes, if feasible.
The SWA operates an Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) system that manages all of the municipal solid waste (MSW) generated within Palm Beach County. The SWA collects solid waste and recycling in the unincorporated portions of the county through a system of private franchise contracts, while each of the 38 municipalities is responsible for solid waste and recycling collection within their jurisdictions.
The SWA operates a system of five, soon to be six, transfer stations that consolidate solid waste and recyclable materials from collection vehicles for transportation to the SWA’s central facility located in West Palm Beach. The transfer station system disperses collection vehicle traffic more evenly through the county and results in considerable fuel savings for the collection system by reducing total fleet miles traveled.
At the SWA’s central facility, solid waste and recycling are managed in a complex of operations. A Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility processes MSW into electricity, while recovering aluminum, ferrous, and non-ferrous metals. A Recovered Materials Processing Facility takes the materials generated from recycling collections and processes them for delivery to recycling markets. Yard waste is processed though mulching to generate bulking agent for the SWA compost facility, which combines yard waste and wastewater bio-solids to produce compost. Portions of the yard waste are also sent as fuel to the privately operated Okeelanta biomass fueled power facility. Another portion of the mulch is used beneficially onsite for cover and erosion control.
The SWA has two landfill operations, one for non-putrescible bulky waste (Class III Landfill), and one for MSW and ash and residue from the WTE facility (Class I Landfill). Both landfills collect gas pursuant to state and federal clean air regulations. The landfill gas (LFG) collected is currently being utilized for the drying of bio-solids in which bio-solids from wastewater treatment facilities in the county is dried and pelletized for sale as a fertilizer component. The dryer can be fueled by LFG, beneficially using this GHG contributor, and avoiding the use of natural gas as a fuel source.
The SWA is currently proceeding with the development of a 3,000 ton-per-day expansion to its existing 2,000 ton-per-day Waste-to-Energy Plant.
For more information, visit www.scsengineers.com.