A unique means of landfill avoidance, metals recycling and energy production.

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s…Fuel Source

You may recall the old adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, in the case of Ocean City, one man’s trash is another man’s fuel source.

Ocean City currently holds a contract with Reworld, a leader in the field of solid waste management energy from waste facilities, for trucking and repurposing of the town’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Locally, residents and visitors generate roughly 34,000 tons of MSW annually. Historically, the vast majority of that waste was landfilled in Worcester County’s central landfill, but that is no longer the case.

Several years ago, the town chose to part ways with the old fashion means of landfilling ones trash and instead chose to make beneficial reuse of the waste for electricity generation. The town still collects the MSW from all residents and businesses, however; once the trash is brought back to the solid waste transfer station, it is loaded in large tractor trailers and departs in route to the Energy Resource Recovery Facility, which is owned and operated by Reworld. That facility, which is located in Chester, PA., has an annual capacity of nearly 1 million tons of MSW.

At this facility MSW is used in lieu of fossil fuels to generate heat and produce steam. The steam is then used to turn turbines that produce electricity. On average, 670 Kilowatts of electricity are produced for every one ton of trash that is burned. In the case of the Fairfax County facility, that means they produce enough electricity to annually power 75,000 homes.

For those who fear the word “incinerator” by recalling environmental concerns of the 1960 and 70’s, with visions of toxic smoke spewing from the stacks, have no fear! This is not the case anymore. With the current regulatory oversight of such facilities via the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the individual States Department of Environments, the industry is now heavily regulated for emissions filtering, limits, and controls.

So that leaves some wondering, “What about the traditional means recycling?” and “Where does that fit into the overall concept of Energy From Waste?” Well, little do many realize that the entire Energy from Waste process also includes post incineration metals separation. At the Fairfax facility alone they recycle enough metal annually to build the equivalent of 20,000 automobiles.

Additionally, the town still recycles white goods, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, as well as other miscellaneous metals. So, the next time you wonder where your trash is going, think about two main options. Is it is being landfilled, like most county and municipal governments OR your trash being repurposed as a fuel source to create electricity and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels?

Waste Oil Recycling Program:

The Town of Ocean City provides a Waste Oil Recycling Program for residential property owners/residents/visitors (Commercial Operators are NOT permitted use of this Program). To participate in this Program you must follow these instructions:

    • Call the Department Of Public Works at 410-524-4733 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m, Monday thru Friday (excluding Federal, State, and Local Holiday Observation)
    • The Call Taker will inform you that you must bring the container of oil to the Public Works Department that is located at #224 – 65th Street, Ocean City, Maryland
    • Please BE AWARE you will be entering a secured Complex, passing a Guard House, and proceeding west into the Public Works Campus, before reaching Building #224 (look for the large white numbers mounted on the upper wall of the building).
    • Upon arrival at #224 65th Street do NOT leave your vehicle.
    • Please call 410-524-4733, again, from your vehicle. A Public Works Staff member will meet you at your vehicle and guide you to the Waste Oil Disposal Container that is located near by
    • If you wish to leave your old container with the Public Works Staff Member we will gladly dispose of it free of charge
    • There is no fee involved for disposal of your Waste Oil
    • Antifreeze, Vegetable Oil, Animal Oils, and Petroleum Solvents are strictly PROHIBITED and will NOT be accepted