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Illinois prison could serve as eco-friendly power plant

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A 140-year-old Illinois prison housing the state's toughest criminals could one day be home to a modern and ecologically friendly power-generator.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers in Illinois reported Friday that Department of Corrections officials are studying whether Menard Correctional Center in southwestern Illinois could be run by waste products from other prisons.

Officials say wood, paper and food waste could be burned to generate about 10 percent of the power used at Menard, a 3,600-inmate prison built in the 1870s that's located about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Jen Aholt is the CEO of Illinois Correctional Industries. She says the industries division could turn the refuse into dried, burnable pellets and transport them to Menard.

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