- Dec 10, 2019 3:00 am GMT
- 395 views
So much for the idea of using waste to generate renewable energy.
"Now, in the face of mounting waste including more and more plastic, the incineration industry believes that we can kill two birds with one stone: dispose of our mounting waste with more incineration and help fight climate change with more 'renewable energy.' Sounds great, right? Um, no. ... Adding more waste-to-energy generation would set us back in our critical need to decarbonize the grid. Even before China’s import restrictions, half of the carbon dioxide emissions from waste incineration came from plastic. Plastic is made from fossil fuels and contains a lot of embedded carbon which is released to the atmosphere when combusted. With declining recycling rates, we will have only more plastic in our waste stream. The dirty secret (literally) is that the energy produced from this mixed waste incineration is nearly as greenhouse gas intensive as coal and worse than natural gas. To make matters worse, some states include WTE in 'renewable' energy subsidy programs, which means this dirty source of energy competes directly with zero emission renewables like wind and solar."