waste-to-energy plants – mammoth // building nothing out of something

waste-to-energy plants

An article in the New York Times discusses Europe’s waste-to-energy plants (which are key components of a successful closed-loop manufacturing process) and why no such plants are under construction in the United States:

The lawyers and engineers who dwell in an elegant enclave here [in Horsholm, Denmark] are at peace with the hulking neighbor just over the back fence: a vast energy plant that burns thousands of tons of household garbage and industrial waste, round the clock… such plants have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel source across Denmark, from wealthy exurbs like Horsholm to Copenhagen’s downtown area. Their use has not only reduced the country’s energy costs and reliance on oil and gas, but also benefited the environment, diminishing the use of landfills and cutting carbon dioxide emissions… With all these innovations, Denmark now regards garbage as a clean alternative fuel rather than a smelly, unsightly problem…

…a 2009 study by the E.P.A. and North Carolina State University scientists came down strongly in favor of waste-to-energy plants over landfills as the most environmentally friendly destination for urban waste that cannot be recycled. Embracing the technology would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution, but also yield copious electricity, it said…

[However], waste-to-energy plants have not caught on nationally [due to] the relative abundance of cheap landfills in a large country, opposition from state officials who feared the plants could undercut recycling programs and a “negative public perception.”

5 Responses to “waste-to-energy plants”

  1. Max says:

    really? what the fuck??

  2. Max says:

    the negative public perception part.. america is sometimes very frustrating..

    • rholmes says:

      Ah! Totally agree. Perhaps the most frustrating part is that some environmentalists — who should be leading the push for such alternatives to landfill — are opposing waste-to-energy.