Marion looking into turning trash into electricity

MARION, Iowa (AP) — The city of Marion wants to find out whether it could turn its trash into electricity for a municipal utility.

The council hired a consultant for a feasibility study that is due in the fall.

The project would require electricity from Plasma Power LLC, which is taking city garbage and converting into a gas burned to create steam for commercial customers in downtown Cedar Rapids. The Gazette reports that a Marion-owned utility would use the steam to spin turbines to generate electricity.

If Marion voters and the Iowa Utilities Board were to approve the city’s idea, the city would buy Alliant Energy’s lines, poles, transformers and other local assets to distribute the electricity.