Lake County Trash-To-Energy Options Presented

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June 22, 2014 — The Lake County Solid Waste Management District board heard from two waste-to-energy companies who want to bring their business into northwest Indiana.   The Lakeshore’s Chris Nolte attended the meeting, and has this report….



Representatives from Covanta, a company with a facility in Indianapolis,  and Ike Owens, a developer working to establish garbage-to-diesel and trash-to-electricity ventures, made their pitches to the board in Crown Point Thursday night (June 19) .

Covanta vice president Stephen Diaz discussed what he called “bundling” services for handling the region’s municipal solid waste — or MSW — that they’ve offered to other communities.   One board member asked about costs — and he quoted information about a Covanta project in Connecticut, where costs were $60 per ton.

Diaz didn’t present any plan to set up a local processing facility — but he said in other cities, they’ve worked with existing businesses


Ike Owens is a Gary native and Roosevelt High School graduate.  He told solid waste district board members that his development company wants to build a facility in Lake County that would convert carbon-based trash into “green diesel” or other petroleum-based projects and chemicals.  He told the board that he knows they’ve been “burned” by the Powers trash-to-ethanol debacle.– but he says his proposal is an opportunity for both himself and Lake County.  Owens told the board that his project promises a lower trash processing fee than what is offered through traditional landfills.. but he wouldn’t offer any specific figures.

Griffith Town Councilman and board member Rick Ryfa wants to learn more from other firms besides Covanta and Owens… firms like Waste Management and Republic Services, which owns the landfill in Newton County where Lake County refuse is being transported.





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