Phoenix seeks trash-to-energy solutions

By Anna Simet | March 24, 2015

The city of Phoenix is calling on the private sector for responses to a request for proposals (RFP) and call for innovators (CFI) to turn trash into resources.

Ideal candidates for the CFI includes manufacturers with market-ready technologies to transform waste into liquid and gaseous fuels, as well as start-up companies with emerging technologies and processes.

From the CFI process, the city hopes to learn what technologies and manufacturing processes currently exist, whether innovators and manufacturers are interested in growing their technologies and processes in Phoenix and what, if any, assistance they would need to do so.

As part of its Transforming Trash into Resources Pilot Program, the city also released an RFP that targets some of the most challenging items in city trash, including nonrechargeable dry-cell batteries, carpeting, furniture, latex paint, mattresses, palm fronds, and residential food waste.

The city noted that it will not consider incineration or combustion technologies and is not looking for recycling brokers. Though market-ready waste-to-electricity technologies are named in the CFI categories, this is an unlikely scenario, according to the city, as area electricity costs are very low. “With the exception of a small-scale installation to supply electricity to the RIC (Resource Innovation Campus), a waste-to-electricity innovator would need to be competitive with the city’s average all-inclusive cost for electricity, which is currently $0.09 to $0.10 per kWh," the CFI states.

The city plans to create the RIC for selected innovators that want or need to be located at the city’s 27th Avenue Transfer Station. The facility is expected to consist of land for long-term leases, a business incubator, a composting facility, the transfer station, and the Materials Recovery Facility.

Responses to the CFI and RFP are due by April 14.