Please click on the questions below to see their answers.
Detroit Renewable Power (DRP) is a modern energy-from-waste (EFW) facility that safely processes up to 3,300 tons per day of municipal solid waste (MSW) and converts it into a renewable energy supply of electricity and steam. The electricity is sold to DTE Energy and the steam is sold to Detroit Thermal to heat and cool more than 150 buildings in downtown and midtown Detroit.
DRP is an independent subsidiary of Detroit Renewable Energy, a consortium of renewable-energy generation and distribution companies formed in November 2010 that also includes Detroit Thermal, Detroit Cooling, and Hamtramck Energy Services. Please visit www.detroitrenewable.com for more information about Detroit Renewable Energy and its subsidiaries, or view our fact sheet here.
No. Modern EFW facilities such as DRP work very differently from old fashioned municipal “incinerators” that were primarily built to reduce waste volume. Old incinerators burned trash inefficiently, had minimal (if any) air emission control systems, produced smoke, and did not recover any of the energy released during the combustion process.
Our EFW facility produces steam and electricity that reduces burdens on landfills, recycles waste metals, doesn’t smoke, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions.
Since acquiring the facility in 2010, Detroit Renewable Power has invested millions of dollars in capital improvements and upgrades to improve operating efficiency, increase the reliability and output of electricity and steam, upgrade an emission control system that already meets the most stringent federal, state and local standards, and improve the safety, odor and appearance of the facility.
DRP has worked diligently since 2010 to improve the plant infrastructure, technologies, and practices that can contribute to excess fugitive odors. The company recently entered an agreement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to even more aggressively manage odor issues at our facility after working collaboratively with MDEQ for more than a year to evaluate and address the odor challenge. The Consent Judgment signed by MDEQ and DRP in October 2014 addresses this challenge with a clear and achievable schedule of milestones.
We will ensure that a comprehensive Control System to manage the odors from the facility’s RDF (refuse derived fuel) storage and conveyor areas is designed, engineered, constructed, commissioned, integrated into the facility’s three boiler operations, and independently tested to verify proper performance. As part of the Control System, the odorous air from the RDF storage and conveyor areas will be combusted in the plant’s boilers, thereby destroying the odors. In addition, we have already independently evaluated and upgraded the plant’s RDF odor neutralizing spray system, and are improving odor management practices on the MSW (municipal solid waste) receiving area.
GDRRA supplies the City of Detroit’s MSW to Detroit Renewable Power’s EFW facility for conversion to electricity and steam.
In just a single week, the City of Detroit collects about 1,500 fully loaded garbage trucks worth of trash. Our facility’s refuse derived fuel technology not only squeezes energy from up to 3,300 tons of this waste every day, it reduces the city’s dependence on landfills and provides a resource for clean, renewable energy. After waste is combusted, the waste volume has been reduced by almost 90% to an inert ash residue, safely and dramatically reducing Detroit’s dependence on traditional landfill capacity.
Yes. According to the Energy Recovery Council, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies the energy produced at our EFW facility as renewable because solid waste -- the fuel used to produce it -- is sustainable and non-depletable. To learn more about energy-from-waste as a renewable energy source, visit the FAQs on the Energy Recovery Council's web site.
Energy-from-waste (EFW) facilities throughout the world have been shown to be complementary to efficient recycling programs and reduce overall environmental impacts. In fact, studies have shown that U.S. cities with EFW facilities achieve an average of 5% higher recycling rates than the national average. Detroit Renewable Power’s EFW facility is committed to supporting local recycling programs.
Detroit Renewable Power understands that recovery of valuable raw materials such as ferrous metals is a complementary and critical part of any responsible waste management program. In fact, DRP currently is Detroit’s largest recycler. Each year, DRP recovers, recycles, and returns to commercial markets 39,000 tons (78 million pounds) of ferrous metals. Further, DRP recovers thousands of tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from the ash.
DRE boasts a strong track record of local employment. We directly employ 283 associates in high paying industrial jobs. Almost half of DRE’s employees live in Wayne County (45%), and the other half (48%) live in Detroit.
Detroit Renewable Power preserved the jobs of approximately 130 skilled workers who were dismissed when plant was temporarily shut down in October 2010.
No, we currently do not offer tours to the public; however we expect to conduct tours of the facility at a future date.For more information about how our facility works, please watch this animation or view our fact sheet.
Yes. Detroit Renewable Power is subject the most stringent federal, state and local operating and performance permits. Historically the EFW facility has performed well within the federal, state and local operating and performance compliance guidelines.