Kearns disintegrator unit approved

SIX NATIONS – The revolutionary and controversial Kearns disintegrator actually works. That was the determination made by a committee struck by the Elected Band Council to observe and oversee the test running of a garbage disposal system that promises to clean up Six Nations’ critical waste management problem.

After months of on-again, off-again operation of the system brought to Six Nations from Nova Scotia, the technology finally proved itself worthy with Friday’s successful completion of the agreed to “test phase” by CAO Dale Bomberry, Chief Ava Hill and her Council.

Since arriving at the Six Nations landfill, there have been critics and naysayers who did not believe Kearns’ disintegrator would work the way he promised it would.

Most, but not all of the questions which have arisen about it from residents have been or could have easily been answered with a few simple questions. But those doubts still remaining are not significant enough to block the sale.

Kearns himself does not like the use of standard incineration to get rid of garbage, only to pollute the air instead, “although, even that is better than burying waste in a landfill,” he says.

But Kearns’ disintegrator technology goes well beyond incineration to produce virtually no toxic emissions while reducing tons upon tons of household garbage into an inert fine powder without harming the air quality.

Most recently, concerns arose after complaints were brought to Band Council and the Confederacy of black smoke coming from the stack and a fowl smell coming from a machine.

Kearns has explained why on occasion, there have been times when there most certainly has been smoke coming from the stack.

He explains that it takes some form of fuel, wood or stove oil, to stoke up the burner to the 2300-degree temperatures needed to keep the machine operation at peak efficiency. At that point, the machine produces its own fuel by re-burning the gasses and emissions from the incinerated garbage itself.

The previous Elected Council found itself holding the bag when the first company, which sold them an incineration unit, went broke before final delivery. As a result, both Council and the people of Six Nations became very wary when Kearns, who lost the first bid, was contracted to build one of his units for Six Nations.

“That’s quite understandable,” says Kearns, “But people need to know that this is not an incinerator, like the last unit was. This is a new and very unique technology.”

This in mind, Kearns agreed to bring a demonstration unit to Six Nations to prove the technology. There were months of delays, but eventually the it arrived on several flatbed trucks.

The building originally constructed to house the original unit did not meet the proper specifications to house Kearns test disintegrator, so an outdoor concrete pad had to be constructed beside the building instead.

That caused more delays, but eventually the Kearns system was set up and fine-tuning of its 10-year-old parts had to be done and retrofitted to an outdoor environment.

These delays caused some within the community to wonder if they had been ripped off a second time.

In the meantime, a privately owned recycling operation started up at the landfill, which some see as being in competition with the Kearns machine.

Kearns insists that his machine would not make recycling obsolete since there are some items of heavy metal, porcelain, glass and other recyclables, which even his machine will not completely destroy. He sees his unit as no competition to the recycling process.

“Its primary job is to dispose of household waste,” he says. “But it will destroy any bacteria or toxins from even those materials it won’t completely disintegrate.”

Regarding the smell sometimes present around the landfill, Kearns points out that one of the features of his machine is that it will disintegrate even exhumed garbage from the existing dumpsite, drastically reducing any continued leaching of toxins into the water table.

In doing so, old and rotting garbage is once again dug up, which produces a strong smell during the process before it can be fed into the disintegrator.

Now that the Elected Council has officially given its stamp of approval after the required test period, some finer details are yet to be sorted out before the sale becomes final. Neither Kearns nor Chief Hill anticipate any insurmountable issues, and they expect to finalize the deal very soon.

Once finalized, construction of the custom built unit, which will be twice the capacity of the demonstration unit, will begin immediately, at a normal cost of $6.8 million. However, Kearns has offered to reimburse the community for the $800,000 it paid for the first building which will be retrofitted to house the new unit. He has also reduced the selling price by almost $2 million considering the delays and the experimental time spent setting it up.

Kearns has other orders for his machines coming in as well. The ambassador of Haiti and his delegation have visited the Six Nations site twice and have ordered two units to handle the critical landfill problems in that country. Kearns is also working on a deal with a community in Quebec after they visited his Six Nations demo-machine.

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