A Maryland-based company says it can save more than 100,000 tons of waste material from going into landfills with two facilities it plans to build in Iowa this year.
Fiberight has been approved to build a $20 million waste intake facility in the city of Marion in eastern Iowa. The company is also retrofitting a corn ethanol plant in Blairstown. CEO Craig Stuart-Paul says the key difference between his technology and other trash recovery systems is that Fiberight doesn’t burn trash — the facility digests it. “We’re using a wet process, a biotechnology process and no real difference to anaerobic digestion, we’re just able to focus them to deal with organic nature of the waste stream,” Stuart-Paul says.
The organic materials in the trash are converted into sugars and biogas, and then sugar can then be made into ethanol that is used for fuel. “Waste is 60 percent organics, that’s what you throw out, because it smells, it’s difficult to deal with,” Stuart-Paul explains. The Marion facility is expected to be up and running by 2015.
In Blairstown they are planning to convert the waste from the plant into a gas that’s used to power the entire plant.