ALBION, Mich.-Albion Renewable Energy, a partnership of subsidiaries of Decker Energy International Inc. of Winter Park, Fla., and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. of Hampton, N.H., has announced plans to build a $70 million wood- and tire-burning plant in the Albion area. The plant's original proposed site in Charlotte, Mich., was nixed after a Charlotte citizens' committee objected to the plant, saying it would emit toxic compounds and metal during burning. Wheelabrator community relations manager Paul Young said most people in Albion had been more receptive to the idea. Wheelabrator is a subsidiary of WMX Technologies (formerly Waste Management) Inc.
Mr. Young said the plant already has a 35-year contract to sell energy to Consumers Power Co. Construction could begin in the fall once the company obtains zoning variances and begins applying for permission to operate the plant, he said.
N. Dakota seeks users of tire fuel
MINOT, N.D.-The state health department has approached Dakota Gasification and Montana-Dakota Utilities companies about recycling used tires into energy in an effort to divert the state's tire waste stream.
Tests on 70 tons of shredded tires at Dakota Gasification have proved successful, said Keith Ganzer, the firm's environmental affairs manager. But the company still has questions about the feasibility of using tires for an extended period.
Meanwhile, MDU has begun preliminary studies on recycling tires in one of its power plants, a spokeswoman said.
What's holding back tire burning is the lack of a recycling company able to shred old tires into pieces small enough for use, a health department official said.
W. Va. hires firms to clean dumps
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-The state of West Virginia has awarded a $2 million contract to Capitol Cement of Martinsburg to clean up a tire dump in Inwood, W.Va., the site of a fire last September that burned about 250,000 tires.
Another contract, worth $2 million to $3 million, was awarded to Madison Coal and Supply of Charleston, W.Va., to dispose of about 250,000 tires piled in Grant County, near the Dolly Sods Scenic Area, officials said.
Capitol Cement's contract calls for the firm to shred an estimated 1.2 million tires at the Inwood dump in Berkeley County, and use them to fuel a cement kiln. The state Air Pollution Control Commission issued a permit to Capitol Cement to allow the burning, said William Smith, special assistant to Environmental Protection Director David Callaghan.
Book offers tips to douse tire fires
WASHINGTON-The Scrap Tire Management Council has issued a booklet, ``Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Scrap Tire Fires,'' in collaboration with the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
The STMC and IARC hope to distribute the 44-page document to firefighters in all 50 states.
Few fire departments grasp the differences between tire fires and conventional fires, said Garry L. Briese, IARC executive director.
``Most fire departments in the U.S. are volunteer, particularly in rural areas,'' Mr. Briese said. ``They have to step back and take a strategic view of tire fires, which they're not used to doing.''
The STMC-IARC tire fire handbook was developed over more than a year, following a three-day national symposium in July 1992.
The STMC-IARC guidelines are designed to provide technical guidance and tactical suggestions on preventing and suppressing tire fires, including recommendations on storing whole and processed scrap tires.
Firm to build tire energy plant
SYCAMORE, Ohio-An Ohio firm plans to build the state's first tires-to-energy plant, similar to those currently operating in Westley, Calif., and Sterling, Conn.
Dublin-based Startec Inc. builds electric systems for hospitals, universities and businesses using waste products-rubber, plastics and newspapers-to generate electricity.
The firm now wants to build a $10 million plant in Sycamore in central Ohio that would burn tires at up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and capture steam to generate the turbine that creates electricity.
The plant would be located about two miles from the largest tire dump in the state. Up to 40 million tires are stored there-enough to provide the village with electricity for 50 years.
The village mayor and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency support the project and approval could come by the end of the year, the state agency said.
The company hopes to begin construction later this year.
Man sentenced in dumping scam
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-A Lawrence, Mass., man who filled rented warehouses and trailers with thousands of junk tires, then abandoned them, has been ordered to perform 2,000 hours of community service.
Salvatore Benanti, 73, pleaded guilty to eight counts of disposal of solid waste at an unpermitted site. He also was ordered to pay up to $100,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors said Mr. Benanti set himself up as a tire recycler and was paid by service stations, auto dealerships and landfills to take away their tires between 1990 and 1992. He stored them in rented trailers and warehouses.
A second defendant, Joseph Lepara, 49, of Cambridge, pleaded guilty to related charges in June and was sentenced to the longest state prison term ever imposed in Massachusetts in an environmental case. A third man, Eric Schaefer, 32, of East Kennesaw, Ga., is awaiting trial.