Lacombe Regional Waste Services Commission reducing emissions and costs at Prentiss Landfill

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Lacombe may not be picking up residential recycling, but there are efforts to reduce emissions and costs at the Prentiss Landfill.

The Lacombe Regional Waste Services Commission (LRWSC) has purchased new equipment they believe will “greatly reduce atmospheric emissions and costs,” as per a June 5 release.

An Air Burner S-220 and Bulb Eater 3L Crusher have been purchased to replace open pit burning of wood waste and dispose of fluorescent lights containing mercury, respectively. Both have been ordered and are expected to be in operation within the next couple of months.

“The LRWSC remains committed to providing environmentally responsible waste handling solutions,” said Commission Chair and City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey. “The latest equipment purchases will further our environment stewardship goals in a fiscally responsible manner.”

The Air Burner is essentially a box like structure geared at reducing the amount of smoke created while burning wood waste. Using an air curtain – created by  motor-driven fan spreading air at high velocities across the top of the box and down into the material – trapping particulates and smoke trapped in the box. This results in a cleaner burn than that of the current open-pit burn practice.

It’s most efficient when burning large amounts of material at a time, and can process approximately five tonnes of wood waste an hour. The LRWSC believes with its capacity, the unit will only need top operate once or twice a week based on the materials process now at the site.

“We are looking forward to employing this new technology for burning wood waste at the Prentiss Landfill site,” said LRWSC Commission Manager Jay Hohn. “We are committed to being a good neighbour to the surrounding land owners and doing our part to be environmentally responsible.”

The bulb crusher, meanwhile, is for flurorescent light tubes containing mercury, u-tubes and compact fluorescent lights. It fits over a 45-gallon drum and has a rotating device that crushes the tubes and bulbs, collecting mercury vapours and particulate using a multi-stage filter system.

The process captures 99.99 per cent of mercury vapours released, and as a result, the material left is 100 per cent recyclable.

One drum can hold an estimated 1,350 light tubes, and once filled, it’s sent away from recycling and safe disposal.

The LRWSC estimates this process will drop costs of both accepting and recycling the tubes by 75 per cent, as they say the previous method of recycling processors collecting the bulbs was costly.

“The acquisition of the bulb and tube crusher greatly reduces our on-site storage and handling needs, and it is a much safer and cost-effective way for us to recycle light tubes containing mercury and compact fluorescent bulbs,” said Hohn.

The Prentiss Landfill site is located at R.R. 260 and Twp Rd 402.

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