The presentation this morning was about the benefits of using refuse to fuel electric power plants. John Waffenscmiodt of American Re-Fuels gave an excellent comparison of the environmental effects of this technology Vs landfilling. The portion of the waste stream that is burned to create power replaces 55,000 trucks burning 6.6 million gallons of deisel fuel. He also had sillmilar cost and evironmental comparisons if bargeing or shipping out the waste stream in trains.
The efficiency, and the pollution of the exhaust from a power plant depends on how well the waste products are burned. Modern power plants are producing 1/10 or less harmful components than the allowable federal standards. When comparing the pollution created by burning to that which is produced by trucking off waste from Long Island, the net environmental must be considered. While most of us in the audience had no expertise on the topic, the facts presented were impressive.
With the cost of $80/ton for removal of waste from Long Island burning appears to be worth considering. Mr Waffenschmidt pointed out that while no one welcomes an incinerator in their neigborhood the present plants are not noticed by the people living near them.
When I booked this speaker I was not sure the topic would attract a lot of attention. I was pleasantly surprised.