Surprisingly-Convenient, Highly-Speculative Food-Processing Sources

WGTB logo PNG 112x89 Post 26 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.

At the end of May, Whitewater’s municipal government conducted a presentation on wastewater plant upgrades, including a plan for the importation of waste into the city.  Here’s part of what City Manager Clapper had to say about that importation:

“If we had a better system for receiving certain waste, for example, from food processing plants, which exist in this area — and it is reasonable to suppose that many of these facilities probably already have vehicles passing through Whitewater on a regular basis — these haulers can drop their waste off at our facility. If they did that, we would charge literally pennies per gallon, but it would add up,” Clapper said.

Whitewater treatment plant update outlined, Jefferson County Daily Union, 5.29.15,

From the presentations and documents this series has covered –  only a small portion of all the material yet to be considered – Whitewater’s city manager, wastewater superintendent, and vendors promoting this project have referred to the need to import and deposit high-strength industrial waste into the digester.

See, along these lines, 12.3.13 Digester Presentation, and 1.21.14 First Vendor Presentation to Common Council.

(Every question in this series has a unique number, assigned chronologically based on when it was asked. All the questions from When Green Turns Brown can be found in the Question Bin. Today’s questions begin with No. 175.)

175. Despite a cost for importation improvements alone of over two-million, why is a description of the kinds of waste to be imported so speculative (“for example,” “it is reasonable to suppose”)?

176. Does anyone supporting this project truly believe that the importation described repeatedly as high-strength industrial waste would comprise only gently masticated food scraps from haulers who just happen to have trucks passing by Whitewater?

177. Hasn’t Whitewater heard this same vague claim before, when a sketch private contractor answered CDA member’s questions about whether the contractor would use food scraps from a local caterer? (That prior discussion had two revelations: that CDA members would hawk their own business interests to an outside business during a meeting, and that – most likely – one or more of those members thought anyone would be foolish enough to believe that a project like this ran on food scraps.)

By proponents’ own written assessments, profit is to be found in high-strength industrial wastes, but those assessments omit detailed consideration of what that sort of waste – trucked to Whitewater from faraway communities that will not take it – really includes.