Seven years ago there were only four EFW plants in Canada. There are now more than ten projects either under construction or well on their way to approval. This is because municipalities across the country understand that this is a clean and sustainable way to manage waste while generating power.
In fact, a comprehensive study of hundreds of environmental assessment studies undertaken by CPF Associates of Bethesda, Maryland concludes that EFW plants have almost no measurable effect on rivers, lakes, and groundwater.
In fact, there’s a hotel immediately next door to the Baltimore plant; they farm cranberries on an adjacent bog in New England; they play soccer next to the plant in Peel Region. The first Platinum LEED-certified hotel in the Northeast is located directly across from an EFW facility in Westchester County, New York, with scenic views of the majestic Peekskill Bay, the Hudson River, and the Bear Mountain Bridge.
Resource recovery critics may claim that an EFW operation creates unpredictable synergies, but implies that the collective expertise of professional staff in environmental offices across Europe, North America, and Asia are wrong. It’s worth noting that with 800 plants in operation worldwide there are at least that many reports, assessments, approvals, and municipal decisions supporting a sustainable EFW solution.
All resource recovery operators support the 3Rs and consider these to be the highest priority areas of focus in the waste system, which is to say that resource recovery processes seek to extract energy from non-recycled material, which would otherwise end up wasted in a landfill. And even certain resource recovery processes re-use plastics feedstock – a fossil fuel – to generate heat, steam or electricity, the process is cleaner than coal and oil, and comparable to natural gas.