Waste to Energy


According to actual operating data collected by the US WTE industry, on the average, combusting 1 metric ton of MSW in a modern WTE power plant generates a net of 600 kWh of electricity, thus avoiding mining a 1/4 ton of high quality US coal or importing one barrel of oil. WTE is the only alternative to landfilling of non-recyclable wastes, where the decomposing trash generates carbon dioxide and methane, a potent greenhouse gas, at least 25% of which escapes to the atmosphere even in the modern sanitary landfills that are provided with a gas collection network and biogas utilization engines or turbines. The non-captured methane the escapes before a landfill is ‘‘capped” so that the landfill biogas can be collected, has a greenhouse gas (GHG) potential 21 times that of the same volume of carbon dioxide.

Generations of people around the world have come to depend on fossil fuels and that dependency has been the cause of rising prices that have affected every market. Higher fuel costs directly affect home and business owners since power costs and consumption are affected. They increase the cost of bringing food to market, or the cost of shipping goods that are used every day. Because of those increased transportation costs, the actual retail cost of the goods being shipped must be raised. In short, everyone pays when fuel prices go up. There are alternatives which offer a multitude of benefits, and one of the more promising is Waste-To-Energy (WTE) which gives new meaning to the adage: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” for what was once refuse, can now be fuel…