New compost facility in southwest Florida will help communities protect local rivers, enhance soil, reduce costs
Synagro Technologies Inc. announced that it has entered into a lease agreement with the Charlotte County Public Works – Solid Waste Division to develop a regional biosolids and green waste bio-recycling center at the county’s Zemel road landfill near Punta Gorda, Fla. Under a 20-year agreement, Synagro will design, finance, build and operate a covered-windrow composting facility that will recycle approximately 50,000 tons of biosolids per year.
“We are proud to work with Charlotte county to provide a sustainable recycling solution for the region,” said Pamela Racey, vice president of sales and development, Synagro. “By transforming natural waste materials into valuable Class AA-compost, we’re enabling regional biosolids generators to meet civic goals while fulfilling a critical environmental requirement of local communities.”
Biosolids management options for southwest Florida are limited as much of the area lies within the sensitive watersheds of the Okeechobee and Caloosahatchee rivers. Beginning in 2013, land application of Class B-biosolids will be subject to more stringent nutrient management planning requirements. As a result, many sites that have historically been fertilized with recycled biosolids may no longer be available. This leaves distant land application sites and/or landfills located in excess of 150 miles from many of the region’s wastewater treatment plants as the only options for some municipalities, increasing costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting biosolids.
Synagro’s bio-recycling center will substantially reduce the transportation of biosolids when compared to those landfills and land application sites, lowering fossil fuel consumption and impact on the environment. Additionally, the new facility will enable communities in southwest Florida to meet state-wide recycling goals as the composting plant will receive and recycle green waste as well as biosolids. The Class AA-compost produced by the facility can be used by public works agencies in the region for maintaining playing fields, golf courses, community plantings and repairing construction sites, potentially reducing budgetary impacts associated with grounds maintenance. Other economic benefits include the creation of new local jobs and a decrease in Charlotte county’s operating costs.
“The development of the new recycling facility will enable our region to manage locally-generated biosolids in a more environmentally and fiscally responsible way,” said Roger Lescrynski, project manager-solid waste, Charlotte county.
Construction of the new bio-recycling center is expected to commence in mid-2012 with full commercial operation beginning by end of year, pending approvals from the Department of Environmental Protection.