WASTE-TO-ENERGY NEWS
ERC Testifies in Maryland in support of WTE

The Energy Recovery Council testified at a hearing this week before the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs in opposition to two bills that would have severely restricted the ability to construct waste-to-energy facilities in Maryland. ERC testimony this week complemented written testimony submitted last month on a third bill that would have also placed arbitrary limitations on the siting of waste-to-energy plants in the state. The Committee took swift and decisive action following the hearing and voted down all three bills. All three bills were similar in nature: they would have prohibited the Maryland Department of the Environment from permitting construction of a waste-to-energy facility based on proximity to homes, parks, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, etc.  ERC believes that these bills are heavy-handed reactions to garden variety not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) issues and would inappropriately limit the ability of local governments to make informed and considered judgments on the siting of waste-to-energy plants.

WTE Video Earns MERCURY Award

The Union County Utilities Authority (UCUA) has been recently honored with a Silver MERCURY Award in the Public Awareness Video Category for its educational video: “It’s Not Waste if it’s energy”. Established in 1987 with the principal purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of communications in an international arena, the MERCURY Awards exist to recognize and reward excellence, imagination and innovation. Winners were chosen from 290+ categories and classifications, honoring creativity, determination, functionality, originality, and smart thinking. The UCUA’s winning video, “It’s Not Waste if it’s Energy” details the process and benefits of converting municipal solid waste into clean, cost-saving, renewable energy for the residents of Union County, New Jersey. The video is currently featured on the UCUA Web site at www.ucua.org.

"Squeezing Enegy Out of Garbage Puts Trash to Good Use"

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel ran an editorial today that supports the Solid Waste Authority's decision to build a an additional waste-to-energy facility in Palm Beach County to delay the closure of the county landfill.  In 2006, the average county resident threw away 9.5 pounds of garbage every day — a full 30 percent more than 10 years before. The county has decided to solicit proposals from private companies to build and operate a new $700 million waste-to-energy plant.  The Sun-Sentinel editorial stated that "squeezing energy out of garbage puts trash to good use. That's not just green. It's smart. And it's the best plan the county has in the works for dealing with its growing trash pile."

ERC Testifies in Opposition to Legislation Restricting Renewable Energy

The Energy Recovery Council testified this week in Boston on a bill to implement a ballot question that would strip renewable energy credits from biomass and waste-to-energy plants. The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy took testimony on a proposal to strip biomass and waste-to-energy plants of renewable incentives if they emit more than 250 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. Testifying in strong opposition to the proposal, Ted Michaels of the Energy Recovery Council urged the Committee to use a life cycle analysis when looking at greenhouse gases and not rely on arbitrary limits. In addition, Michaels urged the committee to continue to model its renewable policies based on progressive European nations that recognize that waste-to-energy as a renewable energy source and a net reducer of greenhouse gases.  Also testifying against the legislation were developers of renewable energy and major nongovernmental organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Defense, and Environment America.

WTE Generates Carbon Offset Credits in Lee County

Lee County (FL) has been certified by the Voluntary Carbon Standard to generate carbon offsets which can be sold to those entities wishing to acquire carbon credits.  By emitting less greenhouse gases than its alternatives, the county has banked more than 80,000 carbon credits. Lee County's waste-to-energy plant will become first in the nation to sell its own carbon credits on the voluntary market. The price for carbon credit on the voluntary market ranges anywhere from 50-cents to five-dollars per credit. The money generated by these credits will go to offset garbage collection fees, which means residents of Lee County could eventually see a lower bill.  Please click here for an article describing how the process works.