The City and Borough of Juneau is exploring options so it doesn't have to ship leftovers from its waste treatment plants to Oregon.
Assembly members said Monday they favor buying a $20 million thermal dryer to remove moisture from the sewage, the Juneau Empire reported (http://is.gd/BV9TwK).
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Juneau began shipping its sewage biosolids, the leftovers from the plants, to Oregon in 2010 when the city's sewage sludge incinerator broke down beyond repair. The cost is about $2 million a year.
The assembly also considered composting, but a lack of enough flat industrial land in the city posed a problem.
Samantha Stoughtenger and Michele Elfers of the Public Works Department recommended construction of a thermal dryer at the Juneau-Douglas Wastewater Treatment Plant, to be completed by April 2017.
The $20 million price tag could be offset by buying a furnace that would burn the sludge pellets, which would create energy for the dryer. The cost of the furnace isn't included in the $20 million.