(BLOOMINGTON) – In observance of Earth Day, Mayor John Hamilton will name the initial members of a task force being convened to consider the feasibility of a city-wide renewable energy initiative.
Members of the press are invited to the announcement event being held inside the Dillman Road wastewater plant (100 W. Dillman Rd) Monday, April 22 at 11 a.m. Those attending should first come to the facility’s main building.
The first phase of the task force will provide technical review of and recommendations about a renewable energy system proposed for consideration during the mayor’s 2019 State of the City address February 21.
The system would involve the addition of an anaerobic digestion process at the Dillman Road facility – the City’s largest wastewater plant – which could accept some of the 40 percent of the local waste-stream that is compostable and convert it into compressed natural gas, saving landfills and reducing methane release, and creating a local fuel source to power public vehicles, including buses and sanitation trucks.
Hamilton has elicited the advice of Utilities Director Vic Kelson, Bloomington Transit General Manager Lew May, and Public Works Director Adam Wason to select initial members of this task force, who will research the technical considerations involved, investigate best practices of comparable systems in other cities, and map a cost analysis of this overhaul.
The group will spend the next three to five months conducting a review of the proposed system, before making recommendations and including in the task force a wider group of experts and stakeholders.
“We’re at a critical juncture in terms of climate change, but also with regard to municipal infrastructure,” said Mayor Hamilton. “It might be the right time to take advantage of a waste stream with high amounts of compostable material by upgrading an aging water treatment facility and converting our municipal fleets to cleaner-burning vehicles. I’m looking forward to working with the task force to determine the viability of implementing this more sustainable system.”