MCC and stakeholders further discuss trash-to-energy technology

MORGANTOWN — What does the future of trash and recycling collection look like in Monongalia County? Could a trash-to-energy facility be an economically and environmentally viable option going forward?

The Monongalia County Commission plans to work with the county’s solid waste authority (MCSWA), environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies and stakeholders including the county’s licensed waste haulers to begin answering those questions.

Hayward Helmick and Bob McConnell of the MCSWA were joined by Evan Hansen and Evan Fedorko of Downstream Strategies at the March 21 regular commission meeting, where they reported on their ongoing multi-year study of emerging trash-to-energy technologies.

Hansen explained that this latest phase has focused largely on looking at data gathering around existing practices.

For example, Monongalia County’s recycling rate is roughly 5 percent — meaning of all the solid waste in the county about 5 percent is recycled, or diverted from the landfill. The national average, he said, is 26 percent.

Commissioner Ed Hawkins said he would represent the commission in the discussions.

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