MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A household-waste-to-solid-fuel facility under construction near Martinsburg is expected to start operations next spring, about a year later than expected.
“We had to work through some contracting issues, but those have been resolved, and we are moving forward with the project,” said Emily Dyson of Entsorga West Virginia.
The facility in the 800 block of Grapevine Road was called a model project in the United States at the January 2016 groundbreaking ceremony for the venture.
The 48,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to use a patented mechanical-biological treatment process, is expected to result in a greenhouse-gas-emission reduction of 28,000 tons per year, the company has said.
Once complete, the facility will receive municipal solid waste through a contract with Apple Valley Waste.
About 40 percent to 50 percent of the material is projected to be converted into an alternative fuel that has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Entsorga also has entered a contract to sell the “solid recovered fuel” to operators of the nearby Argos cement plant.
The facility is expected to employ 15 to 20 people, according to the company’s website.
Additional employees will be needed for transportation of the recovered fuel, as well as residual waste that will need to be sent to landfills.
A number of services connected with maintenance and cleaning might be outsourced to local companies.
Clint Hogbin, chairman of the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Solid Waste Authority, said Wednesday that the project delay hasn’t affected the agency’s programs.
Entsorga is leasing about 12 acres from the authority, and will pay $70,000 annually in the first two years under the terms of the lease agreement.
Hogbin said some of the lease revenue already has been used to offset losses in revenue generated through the county’s recycling program.
In addition to the Entsorga lease agreement, which is worth more than $3.6 million over 30 years, the solid-waste authority also will receive 50 cents for each ton of garbage received at Entsorga’s facility.
Hogbin said county could see corresponding losses in revenue as a result of reduced landfill dumping.
“It may end up being a wash,” he said.