Green Party U.S. – Green Technology, Recycling & Alternative Energy News & Information

Burning waste to make steam and electricity

October 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The U.S. Congress sends approximately 5,000 tons of garbage a year to Covanta Energy’s plant located ten miles outside Washington D.C. This generates enough power for about 250 homes. The U.S. generates about 250 million tons of waste a year and only about 87 million tons of it recycled. Imagine how many homes this can be powered by the rest of the waste?

Burning waste will be a better alternative than sending it to landfills that are filling up faster. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also says that burning waste can combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions by offsetting resources such as burning coal needed to generate energy. It also reduces methane gas production that is associated with landfills. Generating energy from waste face a problem of how to find adequate and reliable sources of waste material flow needed.

However, some environmentalists still claims that burning waste produce pollutants such as mercury and lead compared to coal-fired plants. One way to address the issue is to create smaller waste burning plants instead of constructing large coal-fired plants. Whatever it is the battle for cleaner energy sources will dominate the U.S. for years to come.

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