Local clean-tech company Plasco is still only processing a fraction of the waste it promises to handle under a forthcoming deal with the City of Ottawa, a memo circulated to councillors says.
The city approved a draft contract last year to send 109,500 tonnes of residential solid waste every year to the company. Plasco would then convert that into electricity using a process known as plasma gasification in exchange for about $9.1 million from the city.
However the company returned about half of what the city sent it so far this year, according to the memo.
Dixon Weir, general manager of environmental services with the city, told councillors last week Plasco processed about 7,000 tonnes of waste the city sent to it. He later clarified that to say the city sent 6,780 tonnes, but the company returned 3,200 tonnes of that to the city’s landfill.
A final contract between the two sides has been delayed repeatedly since councillors approved the draft last December. The head of the city committee that’s taken the lead on the negotiations, environment chair Maria McRae, said last month she expects a deal by mid-December of 2012.
Plasco CEO Rod Bryden said last year he needed the city to approve the contract quickly so he could secure private financing for the plant.
Several councillors expressed reservations about the deal at the time, with some saying they needed more time to examine the deal. Others worried because the technology hadn’t yet been proven on a large commercial scale.