Seniors analyze waste to energy proposal

Students in the Senior Seminar course travelled to Elkhart for a demonstration of a machine that converts waste into energy. The organizer — Energy-Inc. – hopes to build a scaled-up version capable of converting 350 tons of municipal solid waste into electricity and diesel fuel at the Elkhart County landfill. A group of ten seniors are working with county commissioner Mike Yoder to analyze the firm’s business model and develop a cost-benefit analysis of their proposal.

The event gave students a chance to meet a variety of local business leaders as well as state and county officials. They will spend the rest of the semester developing a better understanding of the technology and assessing its feasibility for Elkhart County.

Kim Kirkendall, President and CEO of Energy-Inc., explained his intention to do more than convert trash into energy here. He hopes to move his manufacturing operations to Elkhart County, an investment of $100 million that he figures could bring 500 new jobs.

Is the technology viable? Do the numbers work for both the firm and the county?

Senior business and accounting majors presented their analysis on November 23 at the Goshen College campus.  The Elkhart Truth Newspaper covered the public presentation and reported the student’s findings and recommendations.