The Six Nations community, like so many others, was facing a crisis when it comes to an outdated and overburdened landfill site, which receives an average of 14 tons of garbage a day.
Obviously, this low-tech, archaic garbage disposal model is both unsustainable and dangerous to the water table as pollutants begin to leach through the soil from tons of rotting garbage and other toxic materials.
Something had to be done, and outgoing Elected Chief, Bill Montour, seems to have hit a home run with Nova Scotia inventor John Kearns and his “disintegrator”. The unit arrived a few months late but when it did, the inventor himself came with it to oversee the installation of a sample unit to prove to the community his unique and patented technology would not only work, but would do so in a much safer and cleaner way than any other “incinerators” on the market.
The burner uses no fuel per-say. The gasses and smoke emissions from the garbage are captured and reignited to keep the fire running at an optimum 2,900 degrees F.
Kearns disassembled his 20,000-ton a day loaner unit and delivered it to the Six Nations landfill and began to reassemble it beside the building that was erected for the first unit, which was never completed.
Last Tuesday, Nov. 26, the Kearns disintegrator was fired up for the first time and it performed admirably, until it ran out of garbage to burn.[bricks]
Since then, with a few tweaks and adjustments, Kearns estimates that, even in a training mode to teach the future operators the ropes, the unit has disintegrated between 45 and 48 tons of domestic waste and it isn’t up to full capacity yet.
One of the unique things about Kearns contraption is that it is able to remediate the existing landfill of years of buried waste by digging it up and mixing it in with newer waste.
Household garbage is now being diverted directly to the disintegrator. There are large blue bins on the landfill driveway which users are being asked to put their bags of domestic waste into. The bins are then rolled to the disintegrator and the process begins – disintegrating tons of waste every hour.
But even with all of that, the best is yet to come.
The test unit now installed at the landfill is to be replaced with a custom built unit that will handle twice the capacity, as well as other harder to burn items like tree trunks and industrial waste. In fact, the only thing the new unit is not able to dispose of is radioactive waste. Everything else comes out as an inert powder. Even the emissions from the stack are well below the standard acceptable levels of other technologies, and according to the tests Kearns commissioned are virtually smoke and toxin free.
“I understand there is overwhelming enthusiasm at the council level, but there is nothing on paper at this time regarding phase two,” says Kearns. “They are probably waiting until the new council takes office to put pen to paper on that after the 15th of December. In the meantime, the present unit will remain operating.
Upon the new Elected Council’s approval, estimated time of arrival will be only a matter of six months or less.
According to Kearns, there are only seven basic parts to his unit and he want to keep as much of the manufacturing here locally, or somewhere close by, which may also turn into jobs for skilled Six Nations and New Credit tradesman and tradeswomen.