– by Scott Dance, December 15, 2017, Baltimore Sun
Photo: Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun
A trash incinerator in Southwest Baltimore is the city’s largest single source of air pollution. But a state law has nonetheless allowed it to collect roughly $10 million in subsidies over the past six years through a program intended to promote green energy.
Few commuters who pass the imposing white smokestack on Interstate 95 have any idea that the plant burns their household waste, that their electric bills help to maintain it, or that it releases thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases and toxic substances — carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde among them — into the air every year.
– by Wendy Mitchell, November 3, 2016, Ledger Independent
Rumpke Brown County Landfill (Photo: Ledger Independent)
Mountains of trash are being turned into utility resources in Brown County, Ohio.
On Thursday, state and local officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at the Rumpke Brown County landfill, designating the site as the place where methane from the decomposition of trash will be turned into usable electricity.
According to Rumpke officials, the approximately $8 million plant should be operational in late spring 2017.
“April is the goal to have it done,” said Molly Broadwater, Rumpke spokesperson.
– by Carl Weinschenk, October 20, 2016, Energy Manager Today
Photo: Energy Manager Today
The waste to energy (WTE) sector is not huge, but it is showing signs of growing.
This week, New Jersey moved toward joining the ranks of states that require food waste to be utilized as an energy source. The rationale for the requirement is two-fold: Rotting food releases methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas. Transitioning the material to energy would help alleviate that problem. And in addition to addressing the methane issue, the energy that is produced reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
– October 18, 2016, Sun Gazette
Muncy School Board (Photo: Sun Gazette)
The Muncy School Board voted 7-1 on Monday to adopt a resolution stating the board wishes to publicly oppose the waste-to-energy plant.
The plant, which has been proposed by Delta Thermo Energy Inc., is to be located at 100 Sherman St.
“The property is located within a few blocks from Muncy Junior-Senior High School,” said Superintendent Dr. Craig Skaluba.
Skaluba said Delta Thermo Energy has submitted a zoning application with the borough of Muncy.
– by Jim Lynch, October 18, 2016, Detroit News
Detroit Renewable Power (Photo: Brandy Baker / Detroit News)
The Detroit incinerator, long controversial for its burning of the city’s waste, is being targeted by a lawsuit that claims the facility repeatedly fails to meet safe air emission standards.
Officials with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center filed a notice of intent to sue incinerator operator Detroit Renewable Power. Like previous owners of the facility, the company takes in thousands of tons of trash each day for incineration.
The incineration produces steam and electricity that Detroit Renewable Power sells to DTE Energy. The process also produces air emissions that are considered harmful to the public.
– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor
One-quarter of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2015 came from wind (21%) and solar (6%), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, 43% was from generated from bioenergy, combusting trees, crops, manure, and trash for electricity and/or heat, or converting these materials into liquid transportation fuels.
So where do the nation’s largest and most influential environmental groups stand on bioenergy, the largest source of renewables?
The Biomass Monitor contacted representatives for the following organizations (listed alphabetically) to determine their stances on biomass power and heating, liquid biofuels for transportation, and trash incineration: 350*, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation*, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and Stand (formerly Forest Ethics).
*350 and National Wildlife Federation representatives didn’t respond to repeated inquiries, so organizational platforms are based on information found online.
– by Skyler Swisher, July 25, 2016, Sun Sentinel
Photo: Sun Sentinel
A new energy-producing incinerator is helping Palm Beach County reach a state goal of recycling 75 percent of its waste by 2020, according to a state report released Monday.
Palm Beach County’s recycling rate stood at 72 percent in 2015, tied for the second highest in the state, thanks in large part to a $672 million waste-to-energy plant that came online in June 2015, according to the report.
The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County expects to reach the state goal next year, said Willie Puz, an agency spokesman.
– by Kenneth Miller, July 22, 2016, Take Part
Photo: Max Whittaker
At WasteExpo 2016, the annual conference of the National Waste & Recycling Association, some 600 exhibits fill three cavernous floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Gleaming garbage trucks are on display, along with scrap metal shredders, conveyor belt systems, and pumps for spritzing deodorizer onto fetid landfills. Video screens show trash being sorted or baled, compacted or pulverized, by machines that resemble oversize Tonka toys.
The exhibitors are mostly male, and their fashion sense runs to the functional. Company-logo polos in cheerful colors predominate, tucked into khakis over middle-age paunches. But at the booth operated by a company called Sierra Energy, the vibe is different. The men’s shirts are black, and the tails hang over skinny jeans. There are women, too, in arty black dresses. The booth itself conveys an air of Zen-like mystery. What the hipsters are selling is nowhere to be seen. Instead, tufts of grass sprout from sleek pots on blond-wood tables. A banner shows two views of a trash heap—one in its unlovely natural hues, the other in a soothing shade of green. Superimposed on the images is a kind of koan: “I AM NOT GARBAGE. I AM FUEL. MONEY. OPPORTUNITY.”
– by Peter Goonan, June 30, 2016, Springfield Republican
Photo: Springfield Republican
Trash picked up in Sixteen Acres apparently included a small amount of “short-lived radioactive” waste of medical origin, triggering alarms at the Covanta trash incinerator at Bondi’s Island in Agawam on Wednesday, according to the city.
Marian Sullivan, communications director of the mayor’s office, said Thursday in a prepared statement that the waste was apparently brought in by a city trash truck from the curbside collection in Sixteen Acres.
This is not the first time radioactive materials have triggered alarms at the waste-to-energy plant. Each time there is an alarm activation, it costs the city an additional $2,000 in regulatory fees, Sullivan said. She urged residents to be careful in their disposal of waste.
– by Anna Simet, February 16, 2016, Biomass Magazine
Photo: Biomass Magazine
The U.S. EPA has finalized an amendment to its nonhazardous secondary materials (NHSM) rule that will add three sources of fuel to its list of categorical nonwaste fuels, potentially making it easier for biomass energy facilities to make use of them.
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, NHSM rulemakings identify which nonhazardous secondary materials are or aren’t solid wastes when burned in combustion units. If material is a solid waste under RCRA, a combustion unit burning it is required to meet the Clean Air Act Section 129 emission standards for solid waste incineration units. If the material is not a solid waste, combustion units are required to meet the CAA Section 112 emission standards for commercial, industrial, and institutional boilers, much less stringent standards.
According to the EPA, the categorical listings make it easier to comply with the NHSM regulations, as facilities that generate or burn these NHSMs will not need to make individual determinations regarding their waste status.