Cleveland hopes for $180M trash-to-energy plant

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland's plans to build a $180 million waste-to-energy plant and recycling center are facing their first and biggest regulatory challenge.

The Plain Dealer newspaper reports the city has applied to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for an air permit, but an order for the county to reduce air pollution complicates the approval process. The city wants to use 560 tons of trash daily to fuel the plant and produce enough electricity to power 7,500 homes.

It's not clear how the project would be funded.

City officials say it's environmentally friendly and could save Cleveland millions of dollars in expenses for transporting and dumping trash. The city now pays $9 million in fees annually to dump waste at a Mansfield landfill.

Opponents say the plant would do more harm than good.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)