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French Island incinerator continues burning trash for energy

Brad Williams

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Xcel Energy continues to generate power, and cut down on landfill space, by burning garbage on French Island.

During 2018, the incinerator burned 53,000 tons of garbage that might normally be buried, along with 25,000 tons of railroad ties.

That helps La Crosse County meet the contracted total of 70,000 tons of fuel sent to French Island every year.

Xcel spokesman Mike Herro said Tuesday the plant does its work without much attention from the public, unless you see it while standing on the La Crosse riverfront.

Tina Ball from Xcel said there was a spike in the lead content of garbage at the plant about four years ago but that has gone way down.

Burning the area’s garbage reportedly has saved the county
from having to build at least two more landfills in recent years.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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    Pam

    June 12, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I would like to know exactly what to put in my trash on French Island that is guaranteed to go to the incinerator. I know that recycling anything but clean cardboard is a waste of money and time.

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