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Waste Management acquires land for ‘Ecocenter’
by Tribune Staff
Jul 15, 2011 | 543 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — Waste Management announced Tuesday the purchase of a one-acre parcel of land on East Commercial Row in Reno in anticipation of building a 60,000 square-foot LEED Certified Ecocenter to help Washoe County reach and exceed its 35 percent recycling mandate set forth last year.

The Ecocenter would support an enhanced residential and commercial collection program for recycling and solid waste, and sustain existing and future waste-to-energy practices. The operation’s administrative offices would be moved from their current location, and new offices would be built on the purchased land, allowing for the build out of the Ecocenter.

Enhancements to the current waste and recycling collection program need to be approved by the local municipalities before Waste Management can implement the new program.

“The purchase of this land allows Waste Management to move forward with building a regional, LEED-certified Ecocenter, which would support a more comprehensive, sustainable recycling program for the Truckee Meadows Region,” said Justin Caporusso, spokesperson for Waste Management. “Now that the land is in place, and we have made an initial presentation on a single-stream recycling program before the Reno City Council, we look forward to continuing discussion with city staff, and breaking ground on the Ecocenter as soon as possible.”

A single-stream recycling program consists of a single rolling cart for co-mingled recyclable material, in addition to the single rolling cart for waste. This two-cart system would provide residents with the ease of placing all of their recycled material into one container and reduce overall generation of waste.

The proposed Ecocenter has the potential to process between 20 and 25 tons of material per hour, and will create anywhere from seven to 17 new local jobs and many more during the construction phase.

The proposed single-stream recycling program and Ecocenter will work with and enhance the renewable energy program in process at Waste Management’s Lockwood Regional Landfill. Solid waste, currently managed through the existing disposal system, is disposed of at the Lockwood Regional Landfill where natural decomposition of the waste results in the production of methane gas. Methane will be funneled to an onsite facility where the gas will be captured and used to run generators capable of producing electricity. Current volume flow will generate three megawatts of power, sufficient enough to provide electricity for 3,000 homes. The gas collection system is currently operational, and the generator plant is on track to be completed later this year.

To further renewable energy efforts, Waste Management has finalized a supply agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, a nationally recognized environmental firm, to feed a new renewable energy facility in Northern Nevada.

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