[Greenbuilding] Another Green Myth: Garbage Incinerators Are Green Sources of Energy

John Salmen terrain at shaw.ca
Tue Nov 29 19:12:04 PST 2011


I may be coming in to this late as I have been offline. Europe does burn
waste for fuel to a greater degree than N.A. The waste that is burned is
generally classed as 'nonrecyclable' or probably more realistically as
'uneconomical' and conversion of that waste to fuel is considered better and
more controllable than what we currently do with 'nonrecyclable' which is
landfill.  Landfill is a north American real estate thing so essentially is
fought over by small communities who want the cash and are willing to devote
some chunk of real estate to it. As to whether preserving it as landfill or
utilizing it as energy is better or worse is I think the basic question. We
don't consider landfill as preservation at this point but environmental
standards do require isolation from any potential for contamination so it
works as a form of preservation (as to how well it is done is another
question).

 

I am a bit mixed on the issue as I really don't think we are capable of
making good decisions about waste resources - and they are resources. If
burning for energy was a net zero equation it would make sense but it can't
be as we lose too much energy in the production of waste to recoup it. The
scarcity of resources represented by our waste may however in the future
represent some gain and how we preserve that waste is I think probably more
important to me than how we 'dispose' of it.

 

I am confused as to why you mention burning in the USA as 'unfeasible'. Is
it because recycling has not yet claimed the bulk of the waste and burning
would divert too much of a recyclable stream?

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Erin
Rasmussen
Sent: November-29-11 3:12 PM
To: 'Green Building'; 'Reuben Demling'; 'Gennaro Brooks-Church'
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Another Green Myth: Garbage Incinerators Are
Green Sources of Energy

 

With respect to burning waste to generate power, it's a lot smarter to say
that it depends a lot on the waste being incinerated, and the way that it is
being done.  In general burning municipal waste is in the USA unfeasible,
but there are fuels like waste wood and non-recyclable waste paper that can
be burned cleanly to generate electricity.  And like people using wood to
heat their homes in efficient wood stoves, there are ways to burn clean
wastes (wood, some types of crop residues, waste paper) on a municipal scale
and there are places in Europe where they have several years experience
doing just that under much tougher environmental rules than we have here. 

 

For some examples check out the Gasification Discussion List, and its web
site: 

http://gasifiers.bioenergylists.org/

 

Cheers,

Erin Rasmussen

BioEnergy Discussion List

erin at trmiles.com

 

 

From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Carmine
Vasile
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 4:27 PM
To: Reuben Demling; Gennaro Brooks-Church
Cc: GB Forum
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Another Green Myth: Garbage Incinerators Are
Green Sources of Energy

 

Reuben & Gennaro: Here's another Green Myth: Incinerators that generate
power by burning trash should be eligible for state renewable energy
subsidies. See Comment #1 below Re: "State PSC delays vote on incinerators",
By JENNIFER SMITH (Newsday, 11/18/11):

*	Had Jennifer Smith and commission members wanting to know more
before deciding Googled "Title V air permit covanta northport" they would
have found plenty of reasons to support the staff recommendations to reject
Covanta's petition -- like the GreenAction Fact Sheet @
<http://greenaction.org/stanislaus/covantafactsheet.shtml>
http://greenaction.org/stanislaus/covantafactsheet.shtml, which states: The
Covanta Waste-to-Energy Garbage Incinerator in Crow's Landing Pollutes Our
Air! Stop Toxic Pollution from the Covanta Garbage Incinerator in Crow's
Landing!

Carmine

gfxtechnology.com

 

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