Davis County burn plant accepts final loads of trash Friday before closing down

Friday , May 19, 2017 - 1:35 PM

JACOB SCHOLL and TIM VANDENACK, Standard-Examiner Staff

LAYTON — After about 30 years of service, the Davis Energy Recovery Facility will accept its final loads of garbage Friday.

The Davis County burn plant’s last loads of trash will be delivered Friday, May 19, before the facility officially closes down May 31.

Faced with declining interest in steam generated by the facility — and uneasy about spending $8 million in upgrades the facility would have required — officials decided to shutter the trash-burning plant on the east side of Hill Air Force Base in March. Since it opened in 1987, the burn plant’s steam has been used to heat part of the military complex.

RELATED: Davis County burn plant to be closed this year, eliminating about 30 jobs

About 30 employees are being put out of work with the plant’s closure. Keeping the plant open would have required a hike in trash collection fees for Davis and Morgan county customers.

The Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District handles about 290,000 tons of garbage per year, and the burn plant has been responsible for consuming about 125,000 tons of it. The remainder goes into the Davis Landfill.

With the burn plant going away, officials hope to develop an $11 million transfer station and recycling complex over the next few years to keep the Davis Landfill from filling up. 

Most garbage the burn plant handles isn’t delivered by individual customers. However, some government agencies and programs have used it to dispose of sensitive types of waste. For example, police departments have used it to throw out old evidence from investigations and other groups have used it to get rid of medical waste.

To help make up for the burn plant’s closure, Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District has created a program to securely dispose of these kinds of materials at the Davis Landfill in Layton. At the location, a large trash compactor will crush and pulverize the waste, effectively destroying it.

The Layton location will accept items like pharmaceuticals, evidence from police departments, drug paraphernalia, firearms and materials from meth lab clean up.

The plant’s closure, however, doesn’t leave many close-by alternative incineration sites. A list of other burn locations on the Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District’s website says these are the closest options: 

  • City of Spokane Waste to Energy – Spokane, Washington
  • Commerce Refuse to Energy – Commerce, California
  • Covanta Long Beach – Long Beach, California
  • Covanta Stanislaus – Crows Landing, California
  • Covanta Marion – Brooks, Oregon
  • Covanta Tulsa – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Contact digital producer Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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