Urban Fold

Can America Salvage Its Waste-to-Energy Opportunities?

With 87 total waste-to-energy plants in the U.S., the country is only able to convert 12 percent of its trash to electricity (compared to 38 percent for Germany, for instance). Why is America still sending 55 percent of its trash to landfills?

"So why hasn’t energy recovery become a staple of America’s renewable energy portfolio, as it has elsewhere?" asks Dylan Scott. "After all, it’s earned the endorsement of groups like the American Chemistry Council and the Center for American Progress (CAP). Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that burning waste for energy, as the Alexandria plant does, is better for the environment and produces more power than burying it in a landfill and then attempting to extract energy later."

"Advocates blame the negative connotation much of the public has with trash incineration, the deep pockets of the landfill lobby, and the vocal coalition that argues America's goal should be eliminating waste altogether -- not turning it into a business."

Full Story: America's Wasting Trash-to-Energy Potential, Supporters Say

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