Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.’s new multimillion-dollar waste processing system replaces older equipment and will streamline waste processing, use less energy and recover more metals, according to a news release. “This new system represents an important evolutionary change in the way we process waste,” Plant Manager Henry Lang said in the release. “It allows us to utilize nearly 100% of the waste we receive from municipalities and commercial waste haulers, recycling it into steam and electricity and reducing even further the amount that ends up in the landfill.”
The improvements center on a new conveyor line that screens and delivers processed waste to the plant’s boilers. The conveyor replaces two older lines that date back to the plant’s original construction and were expensive to maintain.
The Terminators also allow PERC to process oversized bulky wareste, such as carpet, tires, wood waste and other materials that waste facilities typically won’t take and that often go directly to a landfill. Unlike the plant’s original stationary grinders, the Terminators are mobile, and can be easily moved around the facility to allow easy maintenance and accommodate flexible processing modes. PERC now has three Terminators and is planning to acquire a fourth soon.
The new processing line also uses much less electricity, and since PERC generates its own power, Lang says that means more of the plant’s output can be sold on the grid. In addition, a sophisticated new screen in the ash system allows PERC to recover more metals from the ash that remains after the waste-derived fuel is burned. The metals are then sold to a recycler. Many of PERC’s 55 employees were directly involved in the design, construction and commissioning of the new processing system.