Through our public-private partnerships, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio seeks innovative solutions while saving public resources.
This is a balance sheet on which we hope to develop.
Franklin County Sanitary Landfill has a gas-to-energy initiative that processes our landfill gas and inserts it into a pipeline, capturing and converting enough methane to heat more than 13,000 homes in central Ohio every year.
I am incredibly proud of this effort, but SWACO is not – and could not – do it alone. We partner with Archaea Energy, a private company that has extensive experience in developing, building and operating facilities that turn waste emissions into low-carbon fuel.
Our partnership with Archaea brings approximately $8 million annually to SWACO. If the Franklin County landfill was owned by a private company, that money would simply increase profits. But because SWACO is a public solid waste district, our communities, businesses and residents share in the benefits.
For example, residents and businesses pay for waste disposal through what we call a tipping fee. Since we now offset our operating expenses with revenue generated from projects such as the partnership with Archaea, we are able to maintain stability in our fees.
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SWACO has not increased tipping fees since 2012. In fact, we have reduced them. In the meantime, we have been able to invest in diversion programs, education campaigns and other public services.
In summary, thanks to Archaea, we can tap into innovation that goes beyond our internal expertise. Thanks to SWACO, the public is reaping the rewards. Such is the value of a public-private partnership.
Another example is the project currently being transformed from our old closed landfill into a solar farm. SWACO provides 173 acres to Grove City to become Columbus Solar Park. When operational in 2023, it is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 5,000 central Ohio homes each year, generating approximately $700,000 in additional annual revenue.
Again, SWACO could not do this alone. We partner with BQ Energy Development, another outstanding private company that specializes in brownfield solar and wind projects. This partnership is beneficial for both parties and for the public as well.
This is the same principle that SWACO wants to pursue in developing a modern materials recovery facility for central Ohio that would use public purchasing power to establish long-term efficient treatment services and provide price stability. for recycling and would be coupled with the operational expertise of the private sector. .
SWACO championed the need for additional recycling capacity to meet the growing recycling needs of central Ohio.
The growing local market – which will expand further in the wake of Intel’s $20 billion advanced chip manufacturing epicenter announced last month – for recycled materials and products will require a facility designed to grow with it. .
By partnering with a private company with experience and expertise in developing and operating a material recovery facility, SWACO can ensure stable and predictable prices for recycling processing, as we did it for waste disposal.
SWACO has a track record of public-private partnerships that are good for the environment and good for the community. We look forward to building on this foundation of success in the years to come.
Ty Marsh is Executive Director of SWACO. Questions regarding his operations can be directed to him at [email protected] His office provides this column to This week.