A recent report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) took shots at the waste-to-energy industry, but missed the mark when it failed to understand the science behind facilities that generate renewable energy from household trash. An unbiased evaluation would have drawn several conclusions that the report failed to make. First, waste-to-energy is widely used and recognized by federal, state and international agencies as a safe, proven, renewable energy source that meets stringent environmental standards. Second, localities, states, and countries that have the highest reliance on waste-to-energy also generally have the highest recycling rates. Third, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have determined that waste-to-energy is a net reducer of greenhouse gases.
“Waste-to-energy is a sustainable waste management tool and a renewable energy generator with a proven track record worldwide,” said Ted Michaels, President of the Energy Recovery Council, which is the national trade association representing companies and local governments engaged in the waste-to-energy sector. “This report is an illustration of an organization playing fast and loose with data to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. The fact remains that policy makers at all levels of government, domestic and international, have recognized waste-to-energy as an important source of renewable energy that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Michaels added, “Energy is too scarce, waste is too abundant, and jobs are too precious to ignore the benefits of waste-to-energy. The EIP report is intended to obfuscate the issues and does so by drawing inaccurate conclusions. It is disappointing that the EIP’s commitment to intellectual integrity falls short of their self-stated interest in environmental integrity.”
To dowload the ERC statement, please click here.