In just a single week, the City of Detroit collects about 1,500 fully loaded garbage trucks worth of trash. If lined up bumper to bumper, the convoy would stretch for 10 miles. Managing it safely is a never-ending challenge.

Detroit Renewable Power’s energy-from-waste (EFW) system is a great example of a “two-birds-with-one-stone” solution to two of society’s most pressing environmental issues. It reduces our dependence on landfills — long an out-of-sight, out-of-mind community problem — and provides a resource for clean, renewable energy.

Every day Detroit Renewable Power processes up to 3,300 tons of municipal solid waste. After extracting recyclables, the energy from the waste results in recovered steam that is used for two renewable energy purposes:

1) It drives a 68-megawatt turbine at the Detroit Renewable Power facility, producing valuable electricity for the Southeast Michigan power grid — enough to power 60,000 homes for one year.

2) The recovered steam heats more than 140 commercial and private customers throughout Detroit via an underground steam-distribution system provided by Detroit Thermal, a independent subsidiary of Detroit Renewable Energy, the parent company of Detroit Renewable Power.

Our facility’s refuse-derived fuel technology not only squeezes precious energy out of waste, it dramatically reduces the burdens on landfills. After recovery of any ferrous and nonferrous metal, the facility prepares the waste via a series of trammels, conveyers and shredders.  It is then combusted in three boilers at temperatures exceeding 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. After combustion, the waste volume has been reduced by almost 90% to an inert waste ash, dramatically reducing Detroit’s dependence on traditional landfill capacity.

For more information, please view our renewable energy fact sheet.