After hours of sometimes emotional testimony, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday delayed a crucial vote on its plan to build a $325-million waste-to-energy plant in San Marcos.
The supervisors will continue hearing testimony next Tuesday, when they are scheduled to vote on a revised contract with the company that proposed to build the plant, capable of handling 624,000 tons of trash a year. The supervisors are also being asked to approve an environmental impact report for the project.
Thermo Electron Energy Systems of Massachusetts would construct a sophisticated system to remove recyclable material from waste brought to the county landfill, then shred and burn most of the rest of the trash. The energy would be used to produce electricity, which would be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
Proponents of the plant, including county officials, say it would be more cost-effective than opening new landfills to handle the ever-growing stream of refuse produced by booming North County.
But opponents contend that there are less-expensive methods of reducing the waste than building the costly plant, which, they say, would pollute the air and release toxins.