Turn Your Trash into Fuel - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Turn Your Trash into Fuel

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PASCO, Wash.-- Have you ever thought to yourself: 'I have too much trash'?  What if there was a way to turn that trash into fuel?  It's not a fantasy, it's reality.

"The idea that one man's trash in another man's treasure, that your junk, my junk, it's all coming here to landfill," says Rob Roxburgh, communication manager of Boise, Inc.  "[All you do is] you grind it up, [and] give it new life to become fuel."

And it's almost as easy as it sounds.  Trash is taken out of landfills and brought to Basin Disposal.  It gets sorted, lifted, and crushed before it's trucked off to the boiler at the Boise paper mill.  The steam let off from the trash as it passes through the boiler is what powers the equipment.

"Right now we are taking 40 and 50 tons of waste, or fuel as we like to call it, and diverting it from local landfill and putting into our boiler at the mill to make paper," adds Roxburgh.

But not all trash can be turned into fuel.  Waste products such as wooden crates, tree stubs and plastic are among the types of trash that can be turned into fuel because of their high BTU count. 

"When we get loads of garbage that are rich in fuel, paper products--anything that has BTUs, we'll sort it out with our equipment," says Darrick Dietrich, General Manager of Basin Disposal.

And the cycle continues all over again.

"And why not?" asks Roxburgh.  "We know with garbage there's always plenty of it."