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Council still uncertain about incinerator

The Charlotte City Council’s discussion Monday on an amendment to the city’s 10-year solid-waste plan, which will allow the county to direct all waste collected by the city to ReVenture Park, showed that there’s still a lot of lingering uncertainty about what the final project will look — and smell — like.

The amendment, presented by Bruce Gledhill, the county’s director of solid waste, would allow the county to redirect waste collected by the city to the ReVenture site starting July 1, 2012, when the county’s contract with Charlotte Motor Speedway Landfill expires. At ReVenture, the waste would be sorted and converted into fuel. Speedway is the county’s only municipal solid-waste landfill.

Council members asked for more information about the process, particularly how safe it was and whether it would produce any odor. Gledhill said he couldn’t provide an answer at this time, saying the final technology has not been chosen.

Tom McKittrick, president of Forsite, which is developing ReVenture, said the process of sorting the waste to extract any recyclables and contaminants and the burning of the waste to create fuel takes place inside a concrete facility with negative air pressure.

“I’m absolutely confident there won’t be any odor,” he said.

Council members remained skeptical. District 4 Councilman Michael Barnes asked if McKittrick had a DVD he could show the council so that they might better understand the process.

“I hear what you’re saying, but I keep envisioning a pile of trash that’s burning,” Barnes said.

McKittrick said that once Forsite settles on the technology to use for the park, it would be able to provide that information.

The council will vote Monday on whether to adopt the amendment, which would not finalize a contract with ReVenture, said Gledhill, only allow for it to be an option.

Caitlin Coakley can be reached at caitlin.coakley@mecktimes.com.

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