Niagara Gazette

Opinion

August 25, 2013

GLYNN: Hooker couldn't handle Buffalo garbage as waste-to-energy plan failed

Niagara Gazette — What goes around comes around. 

Take Covanta Niagara, for example, the company that has proposed importing New York City garbage via a special rail spur to its energy-from-waste plant off the Buffalo Avenue area, known now as Energy Boulevard. As demonstrated at a recent City Council meeting, local residents — especially those in that neighborhood — are not excited about Covanta’s expansion plans.

Ironically, on that same 12-acre site in 1980, the former Hooker Chemical Corp. opened its $74 million energy-from-waste plant designed to process up to 2,200 tons of garbage daily. At the time, Hooker officials estimated the refuse plant would produce enough steam to operate equipment 24 hours a day at the company’s adjacent manufacturing facilities along Buffalo Avenue. “An equivalent of almost 18 million gallons of fuel oil would then be freed up by Hooker for use by schools, businesses and home on the Niagara Frontier,” according to a glowing prediction from one company executive. 

In the wake of the Love Canal crisis, some local residents had the mistaken impression that the new plant would involve hazardous wastes. No such refuse would ever be used, a company spokesman emphasized.

A major factor in making the new plant succeed was Hooker’s ability to secure the daily fuel supply (2,200 tons per day) which seemed within reach since Erie and Niagara counties were generating then upwards of 40,000 tons of garbage each week. Hooker had eyed the City of Buffalo as a rich resource because it had been producing some 800 tons per week. Due to operating troubles, however, Hooker later withdrew its bid, saying it could not dispose of the Queen City’s refuse.

Hooker continued to struggle with its innovative “garbage guzzler,” plagued by design and equipment problems too. Within months, its capacity had been reduced to 25 percent of its initial target. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Time is of the essence in Maziarz probe Voters in the 62nd district and elsewhere across the state deserve the ability to make an educated decision about any candidates who take money from Maziarz while he still has the ability to dole it out.

    July 21, 2014

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Barracks site solved -- let's get something else moving The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation heard the community loud and clear this time.

    July 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Driven to distraction by recent incidents For reasons best left unexplained, Doug drives home from Niagara Falls at twilight many nights, usually alone. It's about 10 miles, 15 minutes, from pressbox to driveway. He exits I-190 at the Beaver Island ramp, hugging its right edge in deference to any mainstream traffic, which would be coming downhill from the left at a 140-degree angle.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Opinion sig CHEERS & JEERS: The best - and worst - of the week for July 19

    This paving season has been like no other thanks to a particularly rough winter.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Council, administrative hypocrisy, and that is the gospel truth If there isn't a walk-on resolution on the Niagara Falls City Council's upcoming last agenda before the August recess to change the zoning back to what it was prior to the South End Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission opening its hearts and doors, then the city council should just cease its hypocritical practice of even saying prayers before the meeting.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page