Don't Forget the Garbage

Using waste to create alternative energy is a strategy the Obama administration is neglecting, says North America’s largest garbage hauler Waste Management Inc.
May 11, 2009, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Waste Management, Republic Services Inc. and Covanta Holding Corp. say their success producing power from landfills and waste incinerators is being ignored as the U.S. doles out $60 billion in energy grants and tax breaks from President Obama's economic stimulus. The companies say they may also be shortchanged as Congress develops long-term rewards for alternative fuels.

"We've become the unseen renewable energy source that no one pays attention to," Waste Management's Chief Executive Officer David Steiner said in an interview. "Why not help us? We are underrepresented because we are the garbage guys."

Obama has called for an 11-fold increase in the use of renewable power to reduce dependence on coal plants blamed for global warming. While waste-based energy would make Obama's goal more achievable, environmentalist groups such as Environment America have long opposed the garbage companies as polluters and say burning trash releases toxic chemicals."

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Published on Monday, May 11, 2009 in Bloomberg.com
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