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Sludge Plan Saves Delaware Money, Helps Environment


UPDATED: Thursday April 11, 2013 5:43 PM

The city of Delaware is turning its waste into energy, and it's saving the city some money.

Sludge is what is left over after wastewater is treated.
 
“We transport or have to dispose of about 7,000 tons of sludge a year,” said Delaware Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum said.

Yoakum said that city leaders recently decided to try something new.

“Our new arrangement will allow us to work with a company, which will travel to our facility, they will load it, they will haul it, and they will dispose of it themselves," added Yoakum.

The city is working with Ringler Energy LLC in Morrow County, which recently partnered with Quasar Energy Group to convert waste into renewable energy.
 
At the Morrow County farm, the sludge is dumped and broken down.

Quasar’s Biomass and Logistics Manager Mark Suchan said through a process known as anaerobic digestion, it becomes methane gas.

“Then that methane will get burned in an electric engine to generate electricity," said Suchan.

Suchan said the city of Delaware's sludge will generate enough electricity to power 100 homes for a year.

Lee Yoakum said going with Ringler is saving the city about $70,000 a year. Ringler is charging the city less than the city was paying, and the city will no longer be required to transport the sludge.

Yoakum said it's a tremendous win-win for the city of Delaware.

The owner of Ringler Farms, Alex Ringler, told 10TV he will generate enough electricity to power his farm and will then sell the remaining electricity to the local power grid.

Ringler said he plans on generating diesel fuel in the future. 

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