Recent letters have discussed the potential of the plasma gasification of solid waste and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority's development of such a project.

I couldn't agree more. It is time to move on from burying our nonrecyclable trash.

ACUA has spent the past five years working with several companies representing different bio waste-to-energy technologies in an effort to establish the state's first demonstration project. I feel confident plasma gasification, pyrolysis, hydrothermal decomposition or other technologies will show the potential to safely and sustainably dispose of both solid waste and sewage sludge.

These technologies are successfully operating throughout the world today. Not only do they reduce the need for landfills and cut air emissions and odors, they also produce energy. ACUA would like to do that here in Atlantic County.

But being the first organization to demonstrate these new technologies requires a lot of groundwork and gaining the support of the state Department of Environmental Protection - not a quick process when you consider that New Jersey has among the strongest environmental regulations in the country.

Because these technologies have not been implemented in the United States, DEP has been very deliberate and careful to outline the approach they recommend we follow.

The DEP says a pilot project should accept about 100 tons of waste per day and operate under the close observation of the state and academic and industry experts before a full-size facility is approved.

ACUA has solicited proposals for a demonstration project, and I anticipate selecting a company within the next several months to build and operate a bio waste-to-energy facility at the Environmental Park in Egg Harbor Township.

I look forward to the public's input as we seek the most sustainable, cost effective and environmentally responsible waste-management solutions for residents of Atlantic County.

RICK DOVEY

President

Atlantic County Utilities Authority

Egg Harbor Township

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