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Metal mining from trash ash

TIn Douglas County, trash is processed and burned in a waste-to-energy facility; after recyclables are sorted out, energy is generated from what's burned and the ash left behind is hauled away to an ash landfill where it's buried and barely thought of again, according to an article in Echo Press.

But there's a new opportunity to potentially cash in on what's left in that ash. Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management's (PDSWM) board of directors is looking into the feasibility of mining metal from the ash. Particles of ferrous and nonferrous metals (brass, aluminum, copper) and precious metals remain in the ash after the trash is burned. That metal can be mined from the ashes, marketed and sold.

It's commonplace in Europe, where trash incinerators are mandated to put ash to beneficial use. Metal mining from ash is just starting to develop in the U.S., and has the potential to happen in Alexandria. Here, the metal mining process would be staged at the PDSWM ash landfill located in Solem Township in Douglas County. The buried ash would be dug up from the ash landfill, run through a series of processes that removes the ferrous, nonferrous and precious metals.

Read the entire article from 9 December on Echo Press’ website:

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