COEYMANS — In the wake of an uproar over a Connecticut proposal to transport the state’s trash to Lafarge to burn as an alternative fuel, Lafarge officials contend there is no such plan in place and that the company was included in the proposal “without our consent.”
Any possible deal with the company that made the proposal is now off the table, according to Lafarge.
The announcement comes on the heels of the revelation that Lafarge was included in a proposal by the company Mustang Renewable Power Ventures to deal with 116,000 tons of Connecticut trash each year.
The state is looking for a new way to deal with the waste with the planned closure of a Hartford, Connecticut, trash incinerator that until now has been disposing of the trash, which is generated by 70 Connecticut towns.
Lafarge was listed as one of three proposed methods to dispose of the garbage. In the proposal, the solid waste would be baled in Connecticut, transported to Lafarge, and then burned as fuel for the plant’s cement kiln.
When Coeymans town officials learned of the proposal — from a lawyer with the environmental advocacy group Energy Justice Network — they expressed their ardent opposition.
But Lafarge officials have announced there is no such contract in the works, and that the company did not agree to be part of the plan.
Lafarge Ravena Plant Manager Dave Fletcher penned an open letter to the community about the proposal that had local residents and officials up in arms (see letter, page A10).
“There is no deal in place that would lead to this outcome, nor does our plant even have the necessary environmental permits or the capability to receive that type of material,” Fletcher’s letter states.
“Without our consent, Mustang Renewable Power Ventures listed the Ravena plant as a potential partner for co-processing this material,” the letter continues.
According to Jocelyn Gerst, head of U.S. communications for LafargeHolcim, the talks between Lafarge and Mustang dealt with potential uses of renewable energy.
“As part of our long-term business planning, we often meet with potential partners and vendors to assess opportunities to turn specific, state-permitted waste into fuel that can be used at the cement plant,” Gerst said. “These conversations with renewable energy companies across the U.S. are exploratory in nature and are part of our roadmap for future consideration.”
Fletcher says there are no plans in place for Lafarge to accept Connecticut’s trash, and that all talks with Mustang has been discontinued.
“There are no contracts, agreements, or plans for the Ravena plant to work with this company and, in fact, we have determined that we will not be pursuing a relationship with Mustang Renewable Power Ventures at our Ravena plant in the future,” according to Fletcher’s letter to the community.
Fletcher sought to reassure the Coeymans and Ravena communities that the trash will not be headed to Lafarge.
“Frankly, we are as upset as others about being named, without our consent, as a potential destination for these materials,” Fletcher wrote. “We have been transparent about the major decisions at this facility and will continue to do so in the future.”
A decision on what to do with the trash is expected by the end of the year. The other two proposals under consideration would involve processing the garbage in Connecticut.