ERC Congratulates Lee County (FL) and the City of Vienna for winning WTERT Awards

Columbia University hosted the Bi-Annual Conference of the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT) in New York City on October 7-8.  A highlight of the meeting is the presentation of the WTERT 2010 Awards. These Awards recognize outstanding contributions to education, research and practice of sustainable waste management worldwide.  The City of Vienna (Austria) was honored for being one of the cleanest (as well as “most livable”!) cities in the world. Lee County in southwest Florida, that includes the city of Fort Myers and the islands of Pine and Sanibel, also received the WTERT award for being one of the first urban areas in the U.S. to approach “zero waste” by minimizing landfilling.  The caliber of the finalists in this competition was so high that it was extremely difficult to settle on the final winners. The finalists were (alphabetically): Berlin (Germany), Greater Copenhagen (Denmark), Malmo (Sweden), Marion County‐Oregon (U.S.), Munich (Germany), the island‐nation of Singapore, Metro Vancouver (Canada), and Zurich (Switzerland).

Communities Rally Behind WTE and the Renewable Energy Standard (RES)

Communities are urging Congress to enact a renewable electricity standard (RES) that includes waste-to-energy as soon as possible.  For example, the towns of Brewster, Plymouth, and Fairhaven, Massachusetts have written to Sen. Scott Brown, urging him to support the leading RES proposal, which includes waste-to-energy, in order to "allow our communities to continue to support the production of clean renewable energy for years to come."  The Energy Recovery Council also strongly supports immediate enactment of a renewable energy standard, which will bring renewable policies in the United States more in line with successful renewable policies abroad.

ERC Mourns the Passing of Jack Lauber

The Energy Recovery Council mourns the passing of Jack Lauber, who worked closely with Energy Recovery Council members and Columbia University over the years. Jack originally became involved with waste-to-energy decades ago while serving as a regulatory official with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After retiring from that post, he became a consultant and most recently, was affiliated with WTERT at Columbia University. Jack actively organized conference sessions on waste-to-energy at national meetings of the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA). In addition, Jack participated in formal public debates with leading waste-to-energy opponents, following his passion for educating people to the environmental advantages of waste-to-energy.

Baltimore Sun highlights a business leader's support of WTE

Charles J. "Buck" Miller, Jr. wrote a very poignant letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun, which was published on August 26.  Miller applauds the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce for their support of a proposed waste-to-energy facility proposed to be built by Frederick and Carroll counties in Maryland.  He notes that their supprt of the waste-to-energy facility "not only shows their dedication to Carroll County's environmental future, but it also demonstrates their commitment to providing long-term cost savings and job benefits to the county's residents.  The Waste-to-Energy project would employ an estimated 600 full-time skilled construction workers during the construction phase. Another 1,000 jobs in supporting industries would be created during that time as well, not to mention the 51 full-time employees the completed project would employ. An overall $260 million is estimated to be spent in the region by the vendor during the 2.5 year construction period. Once completed, the project is expected to spend about $12 million annually on area businesses."  Not to mention, the proposed facility would reduce the county's waste bill by $230 million over thirty years.  As Buck Miller concludes, "these benefits speak for themselves; Carroll County cannot afford to let an opportunity like this pass."

Maryland Governor O'Malley Supports Waste-to-Energy

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley thinks a Frederick (MD) waste-to-energy plant could have merit. O'Malley, a Democrat seeking re-election, visited Frederick on Tuesday to speak to the Chamber of Commerce, tour a local business and meet with The Frederick News-Post editorial board. A planned waste-to-energy plant for Frederick and Carroll counties is a hot topic in this year's commissioner race, and during his visit O'Malley alluded to the benefits such a plant could have. He said he traveled to Sweden and found out the country had a zero landfill policy, relying on waste-to-energy trash incineration. "They have come to the conclusion that waste-to-energy is far less damaging to the environment than the sort of emissions that happen over time and the degradation to ground water and the air from landfills," O'Malley said. O'Malley said his goal is for Maryland to have a portfolio of renewable energy sources, including waste-to-energy. He said a plant in the Fairfield areas of Baltimore would also play a role in that. "I was in favor of the one in Fairfield that got sited, and this one could have merit, too," he said. To read the article in the Frederick News-Post, please click here.