A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 Dec. 1993 - Jan. 1994

A Review, by State, of Operating Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators.
# 7: DELAWARE to Lakeland, FLORIDA

The 7th of our 24-part series continues the review of waste-to-energy MSW incinerators, including references to Waste Not issues. Vendor/Operator from GAA’s 1993 edition. Type: M=Mass Burn; R=RDF. Tons-Per-Day is incinerator design capacity. APC = Air Pollution Controls: 1-ESP. 2-Baghouse. 3-Dry Scrubber. 4-NOx Control. 5-Wet Scrubber.


LOCATION O = OPERATOR Type APC On-Line 1988 1991 1993

DE - Pigeon Point16 V/O: United Power Services M 1 1987 600 - -

in Newcastle

FL - So. Broward17 V/O: WHEELABRATOR M 2,3 1991 - 2250 2250

No. Broward17 V/O: WHEELABRATOR M 2,3 1991 - 1125 2250

Hillsborough18 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN M 1 1987 1200 1200 1200

Key West19 V/O: Montenay M 1 1986 150 150 150

Lakeland20 V: N.A.; O: City R 1,5 1983 300 300 300


GAA’s last three editions list the Delaware Reclamation Project in Newcastle, as a 1,000 tpd operation. “Co-dispose of MSW & sewage sludge. Aerobic composting, materials recovery & RDF production. RDF now burned at Westinghouse waste-to-energy plant in Delaware Co., PA. Process 1,000 tpd; 600 tpd becomes RDF. 275 tpd mixed with 250 tpd of sludge & composted. 48 tpd of ferrous, 2 tpd of non-ferrous recycled. 75 tpd landfilled. No longer separating glass... Owned by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority and operated by Raytheon Service Company. Ref GAA 1993*, pp 269-270.

16. Pigeon Point, Newcastle, Delaware. This facility has been idle since the beginning of 1991. According to GAA: “Vicon & Crouse went bankrupt; United Power Services took over project & also went bankrupt! Plant closed due to excessive air emissions & for economic reasons. Contractor couldn’t make enough money; could not keep plant properly maintained. Receivers still trying to sell plant.” Owner is listed as: United Associates of Delaware and General Electric Credit Corp. Ref GAA 1993*, p 271-272.

Burns more waste than any other state in the U.S.

(A) SEVERE MERCURY PROBLEM. On August 25, 1993, Florida enacted regulations that require MSW incinerators to install scrubbers with activated carbon injection systems to remove at least 90 percent of mercury emissions -- or to keep the metal out of their waste stream in the first place. Since 1989, tests for mercury have revealed dangerously high levels throughout Florida. The drama began when a panther, one of Florida’s endangered species, died of undetermined causes in the Everglades in August 1989. Tests of the panther’s liver showed mercury ranging from 98 to 110 parts per million, far in excess of levels that are lethal for humans. According to Brian Hunt, a sediment study for mercury in Everglades soils -- i.e., in water conservation areas-- indicates mercury has increased 9 1/2 times since 1960. (Florida began burning garbage in 1951.) According to Brian, the water conservation areas in the study area are unaffected by agricultural run-off. The study shows that it is atmospheric deposition, not agricultural run-off, that is the source of the mercury in these sediments. Brian has estimated 92 to 96 percent of all mercury in south Florida -- Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties -- was coming from the four big incinerators located in those counties. Since then, based on one stack test for mercury from the South Broward incinerator, there has been a threefold reduction, attributable to removal of batteries in the waste stream. The state is refusing to face up to the issue. A report in the Orlando Sentinel of June 25, 1989, revealed that 20,582 pounds of mercury were spewed into Florida’s environment from incinerators in Dade, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Bay counties. For more information contact Brian Hunt at 1120 NW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. Tel/Fax: 305-523-9898. See also WN#s 70,75,87,108,115,168,171,207,208

(B) GAA’s 1991 edition lists the WRI/wTe Corporation’s 600 tpd RDF shredding facility in Dade County. This went on-line in April 1989 and was shutdown Sept 1989. “ WRI/wTe rebuilt abandoned RDF plant. Process licensed from Blue Circle Industries (Great Britain); RDF burned by cement company. However, plant abandoned again after operating for about 5 months. No market for fuel and contracted tipping fee too low to support project. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated the site & there are now no further plans to re-open it.” Ref GAA 1993, pp 593-594.

(C) In GAA’s 1991 & 93 editions they list the Pembroke Pines 660 tpd RDF shredding operation. There is no incinerator at this site and we were told they do not make RDF, but compost instead.

(D) A useful overview of several of Florida’s incinerators is the WOW # 17, 50-minute video: Florida Burning: An Update on Incineration, produced in April 1990. The video features interviews with incinerator “watch-dog” citizens in several counties, including an interview with Brian Hunt who explains the mercury build-up in the fish. Available from Video-Active Productions, Rt.2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797.

(E) Aside from the specific incinerator contacts listed, the following are good contacts in the State:

1. Florida Bio-Diversity Project. A new project, set up by a group of people who have worked almost exclusively on mercury and incinerator issues. The areas of study will be: Population; the big Cypress National Preserve, which is the great swamp area to the west of the Everglades (showing signs of mercury toxicity); and toxic issues. Brian Hunt (formerly of Greenpeace) is Executive Director. Address: 1120 NW 1st Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. Tel & Fax: 305-523-9898. Note from WN: This new project has attracted some of the finest environmentalists in Florida. We urge anyone concerned about Florida’s environment to help this valuable project succeed.

2. Kerry Dressler, Florida Environmental Network, Rt. 2, Box 565-C, Micanopy, FL 32667. Tel: 904-466-4215.

3. Myra Bailes, Florida Environmental Alliance, 1521 S.E. 23rd Place, Gainesville, FL 32601. Tel: 904-373-4524.

4. Nancy Gross, 10301 Tarrah Lane, Bonita Springs, FL 33923. Tel: 813-947-2541.

17. Broward County, Florida. The County has two incinerators: one in Fort Lauderdale, known as the South Broward plant, and the other in Pompano Beach -the North Broward plant. “Officials there are literally rummaging around the rest of South Florida to find garbage to feed their $500 million pair of incinerators. ‘It’s killing us,’ [says Lori Parish, a commissioner in Broward County]...Broward County burns for $55 a ton at its two big incinerators, but waste from elsewhere is welcomed as cheaply as $42...The incinerators are suffering a shortfall that could hit 100,000 tons this year.” Fading Garbage Crisis Leaves Incinerators Competing for Trash, Wall Street Journal, August 11, 1993, front page. According to an editorial in the Fort Lauderdale, Sun-Sentinel, April 26, 1992: “The county Resource Recovery Board, which controls most of Broward County’s garbage and backed construction of the two burners, voted unanimously recently to try to import garbage from Dade County and anywhere else...The county’s agreement with Wheelabrator...requires the county to send nearly 1.1 million tons of garbage to the plants each year. The county has only managed to average 956,000 tons, which is 138,500 tons short of the quota. For every ton the county comes up short; it must pay Wheelabrator the full dumping price...Either Broward hauls in more garbage to feed its incinerators or Broward pays $7.5 million in penalties...” The Pompano Beach incinerator was a joint venture of Waste Management & Morrison Knudsen (Ferguson Div.). On Dec 9, 1993, the press reported that the county recycled less in 1992-1993 than they did in 1991-1992. The state requires a 30% recycling. Broward County rate was 29%. Laurie Shiver noted that the ash mountain at the South Broward incinerator, otherwise known as a landfill, “is growing enormously.” The ash sits right next to a 6-lane highway and is not covered. Brian Hunt told us about an incident that happened in 1993, when a couple of County inspectors toured the North Broward incinerator, accompanied by Wheelabrator personnel. During their inspection they took photographs. On the way out, Wheelabrator seized their film. When the media got onto the story, Wheelabrator’s response was that they were not obligated to allow regulatory personnel on site without an invitation and any such evidence such as photographs is regarded by Wheelabrator as proprietary. For more information contact Laurie Shiver, 265 E. 11th St., Fort Lauderdale, 33316. Tel: 305-832-0333; or, Mary Woodhouse at 407-743-7847.

18. Hillsborough, Florida. After citizens from Lee County organized their own testing of soil at the Hillsborough facility, the State conducted its own tests. They confirmed environmental contamination by lead. “...it is the EPC [Florida Environmental Protection Commission] Waste Management Division’s opinion that ash residue is somehow being mishandled or is being tracked out into the environment from the ash residue storage building, thus causing the visible ash residue along the roadside and contributing to the elevated lead concentrations in the two surface samples taken by the EPC near the building...” The ash samples “have anomalously high lead concentrations. Lead and cadmium appear to be characteristic indicator parameters of ash residue. Sample #1 has a lead concentration of 536.5 mg/kg, and sample #2 has an extremely high lead concentration of 6422.27 mg/kg. For comparison purposes only, the State of Florida has established clean soil criteria for lead at 108 mg/kg under Section 17-775.400(3) of the Florida Administrative Code...” Ref: Oct 4, 1993, letter from Carl J. Heintz, FL EPC, to Daryl Smith, Director, Hillsborough County Dept. of Solid Waste. Kidder, Peabody acted as senior financial manager. For more information contact Ken Case, 1620 Silverwood Court, North Fort Myers, FL 33903, Tel: 813-997-4734; or, Gloria Raines, Tel: 813-722-7413. See also WN# 75,105.

19. Key West, Florida. “City charges tipping fee of $195.00/ton which operator collects for the City. Plant has had weather-related problems; garbage is often very wet. Considering installing auxiliary burner to dry refuse.” --GAA 1993*, p 280.

20. Lakeland, Florida. “burns about 30,000 tons-per-year of RDF & 985,000 tons-per-year of coal; RDF only represents 1.1% of total heat input.” Ref GAA 1993*, p 282. See also Burning Garbage in the U.S., Practice vs State of the Art, authors: Clarke, deKadt, Saphire, published in 1991 by INFORM, Inc., 381 Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10016-8806, Tel: 212-689-4040. For more information contact Mary Woodhouse, 526 Perry Circle, Jupiter, FL 33458; Tel: 407-743-7847.

* 1993-1994 Resource Recovery Yearbook, Directory & Guide, by Eileen Berenyi, Ph.D. and Robert N. Gould, 718 pages, published by Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc. (a private consulting/research group), 177 East 87th Street, NY,NY 10128.

WASTE NOT # 257. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.