Bourne Awards Lease To Build A Plant That Turns Animal Poop Into Electricity

dog crap

WL – Bourne Selectmen last week approved and signed a lease and legal notice of award that allows Waltham-based Harvest Power to seek local, state and environmental permits in its plan to build an alternative waste-to-energy plant on a town landfill tract off MacArthur Boulevard northbound.

Harvest Power plans an anaerobic-digestion facility similar to what it operates in British Columbia, Ontario, and Orlando Florida. The Bourne plant would burn animal/food waste and other organic material to generate electricity and produce fertilizer pellets.

There was no board discussion, however, about how and when waste would arrive on the Cape, how it would be stored for usage at the landfill plant, daily volume involved, and how the material would be handled. This presumably falls to health board site-assignment review.

The lease signing is the culmination of four years of investigation, review and follow-up legal work by at least two assistant town counsels, working in concert with the landfill business working group chaired by Selectman Donald Pickard. State and federal review, once plant design concludes, is thought to last two more years.

The board of health, meanwhile, remains concerned about odor-control management, air quality at the plant and the handling of plant leachate, which may flow ultimately – in treated fashion – to the nearby Joint Base Cape Cod waste pipeline that empties into the canal at Sandwich Road.

So this place is essentially a bigger version of that food processor that runs the DeLorean after Doc Brown gets Back From The Future? It seems like a no brainer to turn crap and scraps into energy and all but doesn’t that seem a little too good to be true? Haven’t animals already extracted all the energy from their feces? If this is an efficient way to create power than why aren’t these things everywhere? I think I may know the answer…

First off, what the hell is “leachate”, and do we want it being emptied into the canal? Here’s what I found… “In the narrow environmental context leachate is therefore any liquid material that drains from land or stockpiled material and contains significantly elevated concentrations of undesirable material”. Sounds harmless enough. Sure, dump it in the canal. I love Striped Bass with human feet growing out of their faces.

Second, there was no discussion about how and when the waste would arrive on Cape Cod? Hold up… wait a second. We are going to import shit from off cape? We aren’t turning our own shit into energy? This is no good. Given the concerns about the smell of this operation, I think it may be a deal breaker. This would be like going to the bathroom after a stranger took a dump. The smell is so much worse. It’s one thing to be smelling our own crap, nobody wants to smell someone else’s crap.

So basically the plan is to truck in foreign animal shit, try to suck the last bit of good from it, and then dump what’s left in our ocean? Hmmm… I’m no EPA official, but I’m pretty sure you might want to take a hard look at this one Bourne.

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