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Reasons to Stop the Carroll/Frederick Incinerator
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by Dan Andrews | 2011

1. This is a legacy project Should it be built and become operational, the die will be cast for the next 30-40 years for burning recyclable material. It is really a waste destruction facility, as plastics and paper are necessary to reach the required efficient BTU values. Also, it will be impossible to retreat from the financial obligations to the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (NMWDA) & Wheelabrator Corporation.

 

Reasons to Stop the Carroll/Frederick Incinerator

 

 

By Dan Andrews1. This is a legacy project

Should it be built and become operational, the die will be cast for the next 30-40 years for burning recyclable material. It is really a waste destruction facility, as plastics and paper are necessary to reach the required efficient BTU values. Also, it will be impossible to retreat from the financial obligations to the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (NMWDA) & Wheelabrator Corporation.


2. There are better alternatives

Over 90% of our discards are recyclable and shouldn’t be burnt. Burning destroys these resources, whereas recycling reuses material in a “cradle to cradle” fashion.

 

3. Climate change

Our pre-industrial CO2 level was 278 ppm; today it is 387 ppm (a 39% increase). Methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful, is up 150%. Climate change impacts where we live, our water supply, food production, other ecosystems and species, health, public safety, and even national security.


4. Waste incinerators are inefficient

They do not produce much electricity compared to other generators costing about the same, while producing even more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than coal-fired plants.

 

5. Costs

The project is incredibly expensive: $527 to $600 million! Also both counties will still need an operating landfill for ash and other waste.


6. Toxic ash

Each county will be required to landfill the toxic ash waste left by burning. The ash contains mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic, and is considered hazardous by the EPA.

 
7. Incinerators encourage waste

The incinerator requires 1,500 to 1,430 tons of trash per day, which is more trash than these counties currently produce. Carroll officials have contacted other counties and perhaps other states in an effort to contract for the waste shortfall.


8. Packaging and materials are changing

Corporations are finding ways to reduce packaging materials. They are also using recyclable material and collecting their cardboard. Plastics are being created from soybeans and this material is compostable in an anaerobic digester. Paper use is decreasing with the adoption of e-mail, iPads, e-readers and electronic documentation/archive/retrieval.


9. Tire burning

To make up for the potential loss in waste volumes, Wheelabrator has asked Maryland Department of the Environment MDE to allow them to burn 20,000 tons of tires—2 million tires!—per year.


10. Air pollution

The incinerator would emit carbon dioxide, acidic pollution (sulfur, hydrochloric acid), nitrogen oxides, particulates, and mercury and lead.

 

11. Organics and food scraps don’t have BTU value

Biomass, wood and food scraps need to be returned to the earth to enrich the soil.

 

12. Landfill mining

Thinking ahead, landfills will be mined as commodity values increase and resources deplete. This is already underway in Florida due to landfill space. Mining landfills with ash would be difficult due to material toxicity.      

 

> 2011 Table of Contents

   
   

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