Breathe free 

Not much has been said (or written) since the Detroit City Council approved the controversial contract more than a year ago to build a $100 million solid-waste incinerator in the tiny Delray neighborhood on the city’s southwest side. But thanks to faculty at Michigan State University, the issue will not be ignored. MSU professors from the Technical Outreach Services for Communities (TOSC) along with the Delray United Council are holding a meeting tonight to answer questions about the waste recycling company, Detroit Minergy, LLC, and the pollutants it may emit from its incinerator — which is expected to take in about 50 tons of sludge daily from the Water and Sewerage Department. TOSC also will discuss the permit application that Minergy submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The project is also controversial because the length of the contract between the city and Minergy is 15 years. Some say the contract is too long, including City Council President Pro Tem Maryann Mahaffey, who voted against the contract. Mahaffey said at the time that environmental technology constantly improves and better ways of disposing the sludge may be available before the contract expires.

Minergy will transport sludge from the waste water treatment facility, which currently incinerates the material and disposes of it in landfills. The plant is scheduled to begin operating in 2002.

The meeting is tonight (March 7) at 5:30 at the Rademacher Center in Detroit, 6501 South St. After all, as Woody Guthrie almost sang, this air is your air. For more information call 800-490-3890.

News Hits was written by Ann Mullen and edited by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or

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