US Could Get 12% of Electrity From Municipal Waste

August 5, 2014

Texas-landfill.jpgWe're not crazy about incinerators, but if we sent our waste there instead of to landfills, the US could get 12% of its electricity from waste and heat tens of millions of homes and businesses, according to Columbia University's Earth Engineering Center.

Doing that would keep 123 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, they say, and would reduce the use of coal by about 100 million tons a year.

And rather than sending plastic that's not recyclable to the dump, it should be converted to oil - to provide an annual 6 billion gallons of gasoline.

Going further, exhaust from waste-to-energy plants should be used for district heating, commonly done in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Anything that can be recycled or composted is removed before going through the process.