Let's not incinerate our future

Source: Gazette
Author: Patrice Gallagher
Article Type:
Date Published: 08/23/2007

I agree that Frederick needs to come up with a long-term vision for sustainable waste management. I disagree as to how this should be accomplished, though. Based on what I’ve read, waste-to-energy incineration is the most costly and polluting method for dealing with our trash, and it is not a final disposal method. A landfill is still needed to handle residual ash, which amounts to one ton of ash for every three tons of trash burned. This ash is toxic, as are the emissions; no pollution-control devices can eliminate pollution completely. The better solution is to look at the resources that are in our trash and recycle and compost them instead. If done right, a recycling program saves more energy than incineration produces. Recycled materials are worth more than electricity produced from burning. There are plenty of great examples in other communities for Frederick to draw upon.