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Volume for Payback

Post 65 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.

Today’s question begin is Number 298. All the questions in this series may be found in the Question Bin.

After over two years of discussion, including meetings of Whitewater’s common council, and ten selected meetings with particular community groups, and an unknown (as yet) but significant number of private meetings about waste importation, consider this declaration:

“The simple payback on that [a waste-receiving station at $431,000] conservatively is six years.”

Set aside the absurd, but oddly repeated assertion that this payback would come from discarded salad dressing and the contents of grease traps. A simple question:

298. What number of trucks, by size of truck, would be required to produce a supposedly simple payback in six years?

All these years, all these meetings, including the boasting from Whitewater’s city manager that he’s “nerdy” about these things, and yet no direct and clear mention of the volume needed to meet an estimate for payback.

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