[NEWS] Minnesota’s Battle Over the Benefits and Consequences of Trash Incineration
– by Arlene Karidis, April 27, 2016, Waste Dive
With its nine WTE plants, Minnesota has more facilities of this type than the rest of the Midwest combined, and they generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.
That’s a tremendous amount of renewable energy, but still there are trash-burning arguments on either side of the fence. With regard to incineration’s impact on recycling—a main debate in the two Minnesota scenarios—some argue that incineration is a chance to salvage recyclables that haulers dispose of. The Red Wing operation captures copper, steel, plastics, and other materials before shredding what’s left to be burned.
Conversely, it could be argued that money invested in incineration is money taken away from recycling.
Environmentalist Alan Muller told Midwest Energy News, “It’s well demonstrated that at every stage of the municipal waste stream you can save far more energy by recycling than you can ever generate by burning it up.”