Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, May 28, 1980, Section A, Page 3, Image 3

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    University ponders alternative to hog fuel
By SHARON MARZANO
Of the Emerald
Wood waste is used to generate 60
percent of the University’s electricity,
but its price is soaring.
As a consequence, the physical plant
may switch to oil, says Bill Norwood,
power plant superintendent.
One unit of hogged fuel, 200 cubic
feet, cost $8.68 in February. That price
has risen to nearly $25 per unit. A barrel
of oil presently costs $28.50.
Transportation costs are a major
contributor to the increase in hogged
fuel prices. The University has had to
go as far as Klamath Falls in search of
the wood waste. “It’s still possible to
pay $3-$4 per unit, but it costs $20 to
haul it,” Norwood says.
Hogged fuel produces more energy
than oil. Heat values, which gauge
energy efficiency, rate hogged fuel
superior to oil by a 3 to 1 ratio, Norwood
says.
But oil is attractive because it is in
abundant supply. The physical plant’s
generating system needs only minor
adjustments to convert to oil, although
eventually expensive changes would
be necessary, Norwood says.
Because the physical plant’s boilers
weren’t designed to use oil, its energy
efficiency would be only 65-75 percent,
compared to hogged fuel’s 85-percent
efficiency, Norwood says.
Despite its limitations, oil may be the
only way the University can meet its
energy needs Due to hogged fuel’s
scarcity, only two small generators are
now operating. Reductions in heating
and cooling services and layoffs of
physical plant personnel are also in
effect, Norwood says
With summer coming soon, air-con
ditioning will be needed. This will
further strain the already overtaxed
hogged fuel supply. To make ends
meet, the physical plant will only ope
rate one absorption chiller, at a cost of
$30,000 per week, if the plant begins
using oil, Norwood says.
Using oil during the summer would
allow the plant time to stockpile
hogged fuel for winter. Although
Norwood says hogged fuel prices
probably have peaked, he does not
foresee a price reduction or a supply
increase until some time next year.
Refuse-derived fuel from the Lane
Country Solid Waste Center is also
being considered as a means fuel
supply. But RDF has a high ash
content, for which the existing system
is not designed. In addition RDF must
be kept dry, creating storage problems,
Norwood says.
The ideal innovation would be to
redesign the University’s 30-year-old
generation facility to accommodate oil,
hogged fuel, natural gas, RFD or any
other available energy source, No
rwood says.
But realistically, the only way the
Photo by Bob Baker
physical plant will be able to meet its
energy needs in the coming months is
with some sacrifices from consumers,
Norwood says. "We will have to learn to
endure minor discomforts this summer
in order to ensure ample heat supply
this coming winter.”
Coalition fights plastic milk container trend
By ERIC JONES
Of the Emerald
Environmentally concerned
consumers have something else
to ponder when shopping — the
kind of milk container they bring
home.
Alpenrose Dairy in Portland
has installed a $375,000
production facility for making
non-returnable plastic milk
bottles and is marketing those
bottles in Oregon.
“The move to non-returnable,
non-recyclable plastic milk
bottles goes against the very
spirit of the Oregon Bottle Bill,”
said Dave Daikh, Survival
I --
Center representative, at a
Tuesday press conference held
in the EMU Forum.
The press conference was
held tb announce the formation
of a coalition of concerned ci
tizens, environmentalists, recy
clers and public interest groups
against Alpenrose’s recent
move. A similar press confere
nce was held Friday in Portland
Daikh outlined a four-step
plan of action:
• Immediate establishment of a
milk-bottle recycling program
by Alpenrose.
• Restraint by other Oregon
milk suppliers from using
non-returnable bottles.
• Legislative action to solve the
problem of non-refillable
beverage bottles and complian
ce with the 1975 Bottle Bill.
• Consumer consideration
before purchasing as to
whether the package is refu
table, recyclable or biodegrad
eable.
The coalition's actions are
being supported by OSPIRG,
Garbagio’s garbage and recy
cling service and the BRING
recycling firm.
Nancie Fadeley, D-Eugene,
chairer of the House Environ
ment and Energy Committee,
said, “my committee sees the
influx of one-way, plastic con
tainers as a problem.”
Legislation will be introduced
in Oregon to stop the move
toward non-recyclable milk
containers in Oregon, Daikh
said.
Returnable containers also
cost less per unit than dis
posable cartons, Jok Gibson, a
partner in the Lochmead Dairy
in Junction City, said
Returnable containers cost 4
cents each, while disposable
containers cost 12 cents,
Gibson said, adding that his
company uses glass, refillable
plastic and plastic-coated card
board containers to hold milk.
But the future of recycling in
Oregon is by no means certain,
Daikh said. "Safeway in
Tacoma (Wash.) has invested in
an operation similar to Alpen
rose They have said they will
use the disposable containers in
Oregon if it proves commercial
ly desirable.”
However, Oregonians will
continue to have a recyclable
alternative, Gibson said. "Lo
chmead Dairy is interested in a
returnable system. I'm going to
give this coalition all the support
I can. ”
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