Tech committee will explore post-Plasco options

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 06:00 am | Victoria Paterson

The Central Waste Management Commission has taken a step in moving on from the defunct Plasco deal by forming a committee that will look at a process to select new options.

David Hoar, the chair of the commission and a Red Deer County councillor, said the committee was formed at the last meeting on March 23.

The committee is a technical committee that will look at different options for managing the region’s waste.

“The commission members are still interested in doing something other than landfilling,” Hoar said.

The purpose of the technical committee will be to look at the different methods of disposal available and ones that have been developed since the commission was initially formed.

“There’s been new technology come along,” Hoar said.

The technical committee will be made up of administrative staff from the different member municipalities.

Hoar said there’s no specific timeline for the committee to report back to the commission.

“I don’t believe there’s any deadline that’s been established,” Hoar said.

He said he believed the committee might “piggyback” on a City of Red Deer report on waste management that’s being prepared.

Curtis Herzberg, the interim chief administrative officer for the Central Waste Management Commission, said the committee is a place for the administrative staff to help come up with a process and potentially a few options for the political leaders to consider.

“The intent is they’re going to come back and provide the commission with some options,” Herzberg said.

The City of Red Deer and County of Red Deer are likely going to lead the technical committee but the exact makeup has yet to be determined.

Herzberg said he’s hoping the committee will come up with a couple of options and processes for the commission to consider before going forward.

The member municipalities have time to take a long look at their options before making a decision, Herzberg said.

“No one’s in a panic here,” he said. “It’s such a long-term thing.”

The move to form the committee comes after the dissolution of a deal with Plasco that was started six years ago, leaving the commission “now free to do as we wish,” Hoar said.

Central Waste Management Commission is made up of nine member municipalities from the Central Alberta area, including Bowden, Penhold and Innisfail.

Initially the commission engaged in a deal with Plasco Energy Group to set up a system which would have converted solid waste into energy by blasting the garbage with a plasma torch. The commission would have owned the facility after 20 years.

The dissolution of the deal was announced in February after the commission concluded they didn’t have enough garbage to meet the minimum supply requirements for the plant, which would have been built near Pine Lake.

Hoar said while Plasco and the commission have parted ways, they could still end up working together.

“That’s certainly within the realm of possibility,” Hoar said.


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