In Ohio, one person’s trash is another’s energy

In September, Ohio’s entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders came together to showcase recent innovations in energy recovery and the benefits of these developments for communities in the buckeye state.

The event, “The Energy Recovery Agenda in Ohio,” which was co-hosted by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC), highlighted three Ohio-based energy recovery firms as part of a discussion on state policy options that, if adopted, would enable energy recovery to continue to grow in Ohio (see video and press release).

The forum began with a guided tour of the new state-of-the-art Rumpke Materials Recovery Facility in Columbus, with a focus on recycling as an important first step in managing municipal solid waste.

After the tour, OCTC President Jack Pounds welcomed guests and spoke about the vast potential of energy recovery and how, in Ohio, this promise is already being realized.

In the future, with this type of technology and support, our goal of zero waste will be a reality, not just a slogan.

State policy and industry experts, including Terrie TerMeer from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dale Arnold from the Ohio Farm Bureau, made the case that energy recovered from waste is an abundant, local source of alternative energy that can help power Ohio’s homes, businesses and transportation.

TerMeer emphasized that “(the Ohio EPA) tries to identify ways to develop public and private partnerships to help move (energy recovery) ideas forward.”

And Arnold underscored that the Ohio Farm Bureau knows energy recovery makes good sense and that energy recovery is a key component of a “diversified energy portfolio” that can help power communities all across Ohio.

The event, which was well attended by leaders from industry, the Ohio legislature, environmental NGOs, and state regulatory agencies, also featured a panel of representatives from VEXOR Technology, RES Polyflow, and Vadxx Energy – all of which are investing in energy recovery technologies in Ohio. Importantly, the three business leaders identified ways that state policymakers can reduce barriers to future growth for this promising industry.

Both ACC and OCTC agree that energy recovery should be part of much needed national energy strategy. As ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley put it:

Ohio’s energy entrepreneurs are on the cutting edge of investments in energy recovery, and their story of innovation and homegrown energy should be re-told in communities all across the country.

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