Improved energy efficiency recommended for Dunkirk sewage-treatment plant - The Buffalo News
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Improved energy efficiency recommended for Dunkirk sewage-treatment plant

DUNKIRK – Measures to improve energy efficiency at the city’s sewage-treatment plant were recommended last week to members of the Public Works Committee.

John Partsch, account executive with Siemens Industry, recommended that the city consider replacing the drying press with a centrifuge device and replacing lime as a drying agent with a polymer agent.

Partsch said that there could be a savings by drying out the waste so that less water was left in the sludge. He recommended other repairs, including lighting and building repairs.

Councilwoman Stacy Szukala, committee chairwoman, asked for specific cost estimates for each of the repairs or replacements recommended by the firm. She said the Council did not have repairs on its agenda this year but would consider upgrades to make the plant more efficient in the future.

Public Works Director Anthony Gugino said that he supervised a trial project using a centrifuge instead of a drying press for sewer sludge and thought that the end product exceeded what they were currently producing.

He said the landfill would prefer accepting the sludge dried without the use of lime. The lime interferes with the production of methane gas, which can be converted into energy, he said.

Committee members also heard from Gugino about recycling efforts. He said residents are warned not to put recycling products out with the regular trash. City residents have the options of having recyclables picked up on a designated day or taking recyclables to the Lucas Avenue station.

Calendars for designated pickup days and information about the hours of the recycling station are available at City Hall and on the city website,

Items not suitable for trash pickup will be marked with a sticker or note from crews, Szukala said, and residents will be issued warning letters if they continue to put out the items on the wrong dates.

Gugino also reported that the city is on target for salt use and costs for snowplowing in 2014. Salt use is at 46 percent for the year, he said, and overtime is also at 46 percent. He said he was comfortable with both the personnel and salt costs so far this year.

Councilwoman Stephanie Kiyak asked if he would consider receiving bids early in the year for road work and supplies. Gugino said he would like to advertise for bids for finishing some city streets soon. Late last year, the city had a contractor start work on several streets, but they were not finished because of a change in weather.

“We need to get top coat on the streets we started last year,” he said. “I want paving done early.”

Gugino said he will advertise for other road products early in the year.

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