Is Waste-to-Energy a renewable energy source?

YesWaste-to-energy is renewable because its fuel source—garbage—is sustainable and non-depletable. According to the U.S. EPA, waste-to-energy is a “clean, reliable, renewable source of energy.” In addition, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill), the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s regulations, twenty-four states and the District of Columbia all recognize waste-to-energy power as renewable.

How do Waste-to-Energy facilities affect greenhouse gas emissions?

YesWaste-to-energy is renewable because its fuel source—garbage—is sustainable and non-depletable. According to the U.S. EPA, waste-to-energy is a “clean, reliable, renewable source of energy.” In addition, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill), the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s regulations, twenty-four states and the District of Columbia all recognize waste-to-energy power as renewable.

Does burning trash in a waste-to-energy facility compete with recycling?

NoWaste-to-energy does not compete with recycling. In fact, communities with waste-to-energy facilities have an average recycling rate higher than the national average. Waste-to-energy plants annually recover for recycling more than 700,000 tons of ferrous metals on-site.

What’s the economic impact of waste-to- energy facilities?

Nationwide, the waste-to-energy sector employs approximately 7,000 Americans. Moreover, the 77 plants throughout the United States have allowed municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste sent to landfills, while also benefiting the communities financially. The Solid Waste Association of North America has published on the examples of economic success achieved by communities.

Is waste-to-energy a significant source of air emissions and toxic waste?

NoModern waste-to-energy facilities meet or exceed EPA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards. America’s waste-to-energy facilities spent $1 billion to retrofit pollution control equipment to achieve the strictest federal standards. “The performance of the MACT retrofits has been outstanding,” according to the U.S. EPA. “Upgrading of the emissions control system of large combustors to exceed the requirements of the Clean Air Act Section 129 standards is an impressive accomplishment.”

Is the ash from waste-to-energy facilities safe ?

YesWaste-to-energy ash is safe. Ash residue from waste-to-energy facilities is tested in accordance with strict state and federal leaching tests and is consistently shown to be safe for land disposal and reuse. Waste-to- energy reduces the volume of trash by about 90%, resulting in a 90% decrease in the amount of land required for garbage disposal. Ash also exhibits concrete-like properties causing it to harden once it is placed and compacted in a landfill, reducing the potential for rainwater to leach contaminants from ash landfills into the ground.