Is it Better to Burn or Bury?

This study, from scientists at the U.S. EPA and North Carolina State University, compared two options for generating electricity from municipal solid waste and used sophisticated models to present a comprehensive set of life-cycle emission factors per unit of electricity generated. The study concluded, "If the goal is greenhouse gas reduction, then [waste-to- energy] should be considered as an option under U.S. renewable energy policies.” Read more

Energy-from-Waste Can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

This paper, from the Center for American Progress, outlines the many benefits of sustainable waste management, including Energy-from-Waste. “EfW generates clean electricity, decreases greenhouse gases that would have been emitted from landfills and fossil-fuel power plants, and pairs well with increased recycling rates in states.” Read more

The Impact on Health of Emissions to Air from Municipal Waste Incinerators

The Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom reviewed research undertaken to examine the suggested links between emissions from municipal waste incinerators and effects on health. The agency concluded, "Since any possible health effects are likely to be very small, if detectable, studies of public health around modern, well managed municipal waste incinerators are not recommended." Read more

Inventory of U.S. Dioxin Emissions

Researchers at Columbia University's Earth Engineering Center have identified all sources of dioxin emissions in the United States. This paper finds that wildfires and landfills fires are the top two sources of dioxin in the United States. Energy-from-Waste facilities represented just 0.09 percent of total sources of dioxin in 2012. Read more 

Energy and Economic Value of Municipal Solid Waste

This report, prepared for the American Chemistry Council, quantifies the energy and economic value of municipal solid wastes and non-recycled plastics. The research determined that, “If all the waste that was landfilled in the U.S. were to be diverted to WTE power plants, it could generate enough electricity to supply 13.8 million households - 12% of the U.S. total.” Read more

Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Work in Concert

This study’s purpose was to answer the question: Does a community’s use of a waste-to-energy facility impact the level of recycling in that community? In an examination of recycling rates of 700 communities in 21 states, which rely on waste-to-energy for their waste disposal, it demonstrated that this means of disposal had no impact on recycling. In fact, overall communities using waste-to-energy had a slightly higher level of recycling than that observed across their states and across the United States. Read more