Plans To Turn Aiken County Trash Into Fuel

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

February 10, 2006
With the rising cost of gasoline, some say it’s time to turn your trash into fuel. As News 12 reports, plans are in the works in Aiken County to do just that.

Within three years, there is a real possibility the trash at the Three Rivers Landfill in Aiken County could fuel your car.

“The technology has been around, but the economics have not caught up to it until we got in the situation we’re in now where petroleum is $60-$70 a barrel,” said Colin Covington, General Manager of Three Rivers Waste.

This pilot scale processor was installed at the landfill over a year ago. It can turn trash into processed material. From there, that material would go to another facility to be turned into the fuel, ethanol.

So what kind of trash can be turned into fuel? It must be carbon based, so a banana peel and newspaper would work. This coke can and yogurt container wouldn’t, and plastics, metals and rubber can’t be processed.

“Do we have a ways to go? Yes. It all comes down to money,” said Mike Campbell.

Mike Campbell, a republican candidate for Lt. Governor came to the landfill to announce he will lobby Congress for the money. To make it happen, the landfill needs another $3.8 million. Though Campbell is running for office, he says funding for this project isn’t dependent on his win.

“No, now it has nothing to do with my election. I actually got involved with the project prior to even announcing,” said Mike Campbell.

And all this waste is powerful. If the landfill turned just half of it’s trash each year into ethanol, it would fuel 250,000 cars that year.

One man’s trash may truly be a treasure.


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