After months of debate, the North Central Solid Waste Authority voted on May 21 to purchase a new green waste burner.
Authority chief executive Peter Fuller said the current air curtain burner was probably not burning hot enough to consistently meet emissions standards and was concerned if the burner broke during the summer, when most green waste is generated, there could be major problems without a more efficient disposal method.
Fuller said he always prefers to use a wood chipper for handled green waste because of the lower costs of disposing of the waste after it has been processed.
As previously reported in the Rio Grande SUN, the Authority spends approximately $ 50,000 per year to remove the ash generated by the burner at Ohkay Owingeh.
The new air burner is estimated to cost around $ 130,000. Whereas a shredder of the necessary size would cost between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000.
State representative Roger Montoya, D-Velarde, was at the meeting. He said he would try to get each of the Authority’s contributing groups to individually contribute to the funding of a wood chipper.
Tomas Campos, chairman of the board of directors and director of the Rio Arriba county, said the county was operating on a deficit and therefore was unable to disburse funds, but the county would be able to afford the authority to use the county’s credit rating to borrow money.
John Ricci, representing the city of Spainola, said we would need to bring the idea to city council before taking any action.
Fuller said he was prepared to seek grants to help pay for the wood chipper.
Montoya said he could also offer one of his collaborators to help him with the search.
During the monthly meeting, the board of directors also discussed the status of the transfer station in Truchas. Fuller said they had another meeting to try to negotiate a new lease that the Authority could afford.
Former Authority Director Joe Lewandoski and the current contractor working on a plan to revitalize the Authority were present when the original lease was signed.
“The original deal, they wanted to charge us for a commercial lease, but we’re in a deal to protect and care for their land,” Lewandoski said. “I understand their reasoning. They see it as a business entity, but it is not, it is a partnership to protect the community.
The Board also discussed the costs of cleaning up a hydraulic oil spill that occurred six months ago, which cost the Administration $ 9,850 at Advanced Chemical Transport. The chemicals did not reach the groundwater and were safely disposed of.
The authority is also still out of a truck after one caught fire and had to be totaled last month.