COLUMBUS - The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) in
partnership with the City of Columbus and quasar energy group was
awarded today with the 2012 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator Award
from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Ohio Chapter
for the quasar energy group anaerobic digester.
The City of
Columbus and SWACO partnered with quasar energy group to construct and
operate the Columbus anaerobic digestion renewable energy facility. The
system processes sewage sludge, regional food waste and FOG (fats, oil
and grease) from the City of Columbus, generating 3,600 gasoline gallon
equivalents (GGE) of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
project took a decade to develop. But the agreement is sustainable,
economically and environmentally,” SWACO Executive Director Ronald J.
Mills said. “This agreement can serve as a model in public-private
partnerships that has benefits for all.”
The Solid Waste Association of North America’s Excellence Awards Program
recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance
the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste
As gasoline and diesel prices rise to
approximately $4 a gallon, more and more central Ohio communities and
fleet operations are looking for ways to avoid drastic price
fluctuations at the pumps. By converting more of their fleets to CNG
fuel, SWACO, the City of Columbus, and others have been able to take
advantage of a CNG pump price of $2.25 at the digester.
Vehicles that use CNG are better for the environment. It
is estimated that CNG-powered engines produce 60% to 75% less
pollutants compared to vehicles that run on fossil fuels. In addition,
this new green fuel reduces our nation’s dependence on petroleum and
foreign based energy and contributes to growing Ohio’s clean energy
“SWACO and the City of Columbus are true innovators in
sustainable waste management – quasar is proud to be part of this
initiative. The project demonstrates the impact sustainable waste
solutions can have on building our renewable energy economy while
improving the environment,” states quasar President Mel Kurtz.
digester has several benefits. For one, disposal costs are cheaper for
cities and companies. The tipping price (or fee to dispose) at the
digester is $33.50 per ton versus $42.75 per ton at the landfill. With
the City delivering 25,000 tons a year to the digester, an annual
savings of at least $231,000 is realized. Another benefit is less
landfill waste keeps more land available for other uses and brings about
a savings from delayed or avoided landfill construction costs.
are honored to be the recipient of the SWANA Solid Waste Innovator
Award for the successful public-private partnership between the City of
Columbus, SWACO and Quasar Energy, “ said Columbus Mayor Michael B.
Coleman. “This innovative project takes what would have been waste and
generates 2.6 million gallons of CNG for use in vehicles. This project
is good for the environment and for the economy. It has saved the city
$231,000 per year in disposal costs and about $2 per gallon in fuel
savings compared with diesel.”