City Government

Powerful Trash Talk On Ada Landfill

Boise’s much touted no-sort blue bin recycle program could face some major alterations in the future if the electric generator project at the county dump doesn’t get short circuited.

The DAILY PAPER had a page one story Tuesday on the project with details about the technology of superheating trash to reduce emissions. This a new project in addition to the methane capture system currently in place.

Eagle businessman Lloyd Mahaffey claims his Dynamis Energy technology can reduce tons of trash to a small pile of ash and create a gas that can be converted into energy. Dynamis has previously told the GUARDIAN the “fuel” includes paper, plastic, and cardboard–all currently being collected in those blue bins and shipped via truck to Portland and Seattle. About 2,000 tons of trash is buried daily at the landfill.

While Dynamis’s technology–if it works– will reduce the mass in the landfill, it will also drastically reduce the amount of stuff being recycled in Portland. That’s right. Boise has its recyclables trucked nearly 500 miles to Portland. The incinerator should also reduce the carbon footprint of the “green giant” tractor-trailer rigs running up and down I-84 at great expense to the city.

Boise City public works told us over a year ago that prices of commodities were expected to go up and the surcharge they pay for fuel would go down. We doubt that has happened but we expect the power project to leave them with only metal and glass in the blue bins. Glass is not currently being recycled.

The GUARDIAN has questioned the supply of water to the project, but Dynamis claims the technology does not consume massive amounts of water.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. According to the Statesman article, this is not exactly new technology. They placed the first commercial unit almost 15 years ago. They entered into the agreement with the county 9 months ago. I would assume that there was consideration by the county long before that. Given that, we are to believe that no one in city government was aware of this technology during their negotiations to have paper, some plastics and metal hauled 500 miles to be sorted? This is flat insulting to the citizens of the city! In all honesty, if the mayor of this city ever uses the word “green” again, other than to define St. Patrick’s Day, he should be tarred and feathered!!!!!

  2. Now THIS sounds like a good idea

  3. So that’s a lot of talk about some new special way to convert trash into energy. Show me!

    Any scientific people out there who know this works? Any research been done on it? By who?

    Still waiting for cold fusion.

  4. The validity of this proposal is way above my pay grade….but I do know that Lloyd had some other ideas that were not very bright. One was to replicate a Silicon Valley center of technology in Eagle. The dimness of that light bulb could only be eclipsed by his other brainchild which was a high end “getaway” recreational resort in Garden Valley. I commend Lloyd on his creativity, but would prefer that he spend his early retirement years golfing instead of dreaming up ways to fabricate news releases.

  5. Read the article Zip! It says that this has been operational in Barrow Alaska for almost 15 years.

  6. Wonder if Lloyd could also build a nuclear power plant in Melba?

  7. “Operational” is a long way from this is a good idea. I’m asking if this is a good idea. If it is, I really like it. If it’s not don’t spend my money on it.

    And as far as money goes, typically if something has been a good idea for 15 years the very largest corporations would have pushed the little guys aside by now and these things would be popping up like weeds all over the world.

    It sounds like it cost a bunch more than the compaction/rotting idea we use now. I can’t imagine how much electrical energy it must take to vaporize a tire. SHOW ME!

  8. We should all recall that the county paid two million dollars to these people for this pie in the sky technology. “If it works”? Are you kidding? Taxpayers coughed up two million dollars! Someone should be making sure that was money well spent and benefits taxpayers and not just the private company involved. For thatmatter why aren’t taxpayers sharing in the profit the company will make in the future? Why did we pay for a private company to make more money for itself?

    EDITOR NOTE–Amazed, you may be a bit harsh. The county claims the $2 million will come back, which raises the issue of “loaning its credit” to a private company. The county also claims they will get a piece of the action just like they do on the existing methane capture system. We didn’t like the way it was inked at the time either.

  9. Speaking of rubbish, wasn’t it just last year that Commish Ullman said on the Fairgrounds RV park closure:

    “I would never sign a 20-year lease; it is a disservice to future boards,” Ullman said. “Our hands have been tied for so long.”

    Read more:

    According to the Statesman article, Dynamis will lease Hidden Hollow for $1 for a 20-year lease.

    Thought I’d just mention this in passing. Looks like Lloyd loosened the ropes!

  10. Dave, the $2 million will come back how? Come back when? On what terms? In what time frame? You say you did not like how the contract was inked at the time. That sounds like you perhaps like it better now. On what basis? Is there another contract the public is unaware exists that mandates the $2 million be paid back? I think citizens would like to know what’s going on with their money!

    EDITOR NOTE–here is how we saw it last July:
    more info dribbles out and we are just not sure it is clean. We even talked to some Eskimos in Alaska Friday where the first plant is located and expect to offer a new post soon.

  11. Great job Guardian! This doesn’t pass the common sense test and rather smells like trash. I just searched the commissioners agendas for meetings when the potential of entering into this contract was discussed and I find no such meeting until the contract was signed on June 30. None! Does Ada County think we as taxpayers are really that stupid that we would believe they entered into a $2M contract without there first being several meetings with the commissioners? Whoa! Stop the stagecoach! More open meeting law violations here?

    Coming from a commissioner that has won a Max Dalton Award for open government and two other commissioners that have been charged and fined for an open meeting law violation (that county taxpayers paid a hefty price to defend), if anyone should know better, they should! This brings another question to mind, did the commissioners practice any due diligence to check out Lloyd Mahaffey and his scheme? You seem to have been able to accomplish that with one phone call–way to go Guardian!

    Commissioner Ullman also says the county will be repaid within six months. Six months from when? Really, exactly when will the county be repaid? The contract was signed in June, wonder if Ada County will ever receive the $2M back. The commissioners did a lot of due diligence investigating horse racing contractors (look how that turned out, still no horses on the track) and they didn’t give money away in that process–they were being paid!

    It appears to this concerned citizen like the leadership at Ada County is grossly negligent in their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers whether they try to exercise due diligence or not. It just might be that there are other reasons why this contract was bull dozed through (outside the stimulus money concept) without any notice to the public until the contract was signed. Agree with Amazed, I’ve seen many examples of the Daily rag printing whatever her county pal tells her to print or she simply copies excerpts of his press releases.

    Further investigation is most definitely warranted in this case. Please do it because Ada County taxpayers deserve the truth! They are owed the truth! This whole deal smells like rotting garbage to me!

  12. I live in Marion County in Oregon. We have a facility in Brooks, OR called Covanta. It’s an Energy from Waste Facility. We do have co-mingle collection for recycling, after that the true trash is burned and reduces in size by 90% and creates an ash. The ash is then put in a “landfill” with high leachate control to create a monofill. This has been very successful for our area. People have many opinions, and you can’t change that. However you can do your best to educate them on ALL the options available.

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