The idea of waste-to-energy has been around for a long time -- at least since the time I was a budding young failure of an ethical investor, many years ago. Now, it seems its time has come; actually, its time came a long time ago, when the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere started growing at an exponential rate, but the technology was still very much in the experimental stage. Now, however, there are 89 plants online nationwide, and more in development. The time that has now come is the time for us to write our governmental officials and make sure they are on the bandwagon, for waste-to-energy is destined to become an important part of our renewable energy picture.
Today's waste-to-energy plants provide efficient trash disposal of about 90,000 tons of solid waste nationwide every day, while converting the compounds contained therein into enough methane-free electricity to power 2.3 million homes across the country. In this regard, waste-to-energy plants actually provide a reduction in greenhouse gases over ordinary landfill disposal methods. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are also recovered in a more energy efficient method than mining virgin ore, providing a further reduction in greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide emission is also avoided by eliminating the need for the combustion of coal or oil in the energy generation process.
The Integrated Waste Services Association has just opened their Legislative Action Center, where you can contact your Senators and urge them to consider waste-to-energy as part of your state's overall energy profile. The IWSA website has far more information than I can possibly include here. Interesed people are encouraged to visit there to find out more about current trends and technologies.