Wheelabrator Baltimore’s waste-to-energy is part of the solution.
- Waste-to-energy is highly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to ensure the protection of public health.
- The waste-to-energy industry is one of the most proven and stringently regulated industries in the U.S., Europe and all over the world. To ensure our adherence to all applicable regulations and permitting requirements, Wheelabrator Baltimore continuously monitors and records numerous plant and air quality control environmental parameters every minute to complete almost 800 compliance checks every day.
- Wheelabrator Baltimore monitors plant and air quality control with more than 800 compliance checks each and every day.
- Waste-to-energy meets the two basic criteria for establishing what is a renewable energy resource: Its fuel source (post-recycled waste) is both sustainable and indigenous.
- There is no need to choose between wind, solar and other renewable energies. Sustainable energy is about an integrated approach to meet the energy needs of residents, communities and businesses. To meet current demand, we must take advantage of all sustainable energy production – wind, solar and waste-to-energy. Waste-to- energy is a tool that reduces GHG emissions, generates baseload electricity and avoids fossil fuels.
- Unlike wind and solar, waste-to-energy is a baseload energy source that operates 24
hours per day, 365 days per year in all weather conditions. As a result, waste-to-energy facilities reliably generate approximately 14 billion kWh of electricity per year – enough power for approximately two million American homes.
- Waste-to-energy facilities recover valuable energy from post-recycled waste after efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle have been implemented by households and local governments.
- Thirty-one states, the District of Columbia and two territories have defined waste-to-energy as renewable energy in various state statutes and regulations, including renewable portfolio standards.
Recycling and waste reduction
- Waste-to-energy facilities do not compete with recycling programs. Both zero waste and waste- to-energy assume the maximum diversion of materials through source-separation recycling programs.
- Waste-to-energy recovers and recycles as much of the post-recycled and processed material as possible, namely through recovering and recycling ferrous scrap metals, such as iron and steel, and non-ferrous scrap metals, such as copper and aluminum. The remaining inert ash residue is regularly tested by independent laboratories using approved U.S. EPA methods and is consistently determined to be a non-toxic, non-hazardous waste according to stringent Maryland and U.S. EPA standards.
- Waste-to-energy complements and increases recycling rates. U.S. waste-to-energy facilities recover and recycle more than 730,000 tons of ferrous metals every year and communities that rely on waste-to-energy recycle at a higher rate than the national average.15 Globally, in countries with some of the highest recycling rates (Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark), more than 30 percent (by weight) of total municipal waste is recovered in waste-to-energy facilities.
What the experts say
“A mass-based [Clean Power Plan] approach allows states to support a wider range of carbon reducing activities, [including] existing carbon negative WTE generation.”
– Third Way
“WTE was recognized as a key emerging large-scale energy sector in a low-carbon economy along with onshore and offshore wind, solar, cellulose ethanol and geothermal power.”
– World Economic Forum
“Lofty ideals and utopian schemes many times interrupt the practical, deployable solutions that currently exist to ensure the safest, most environmentally friendly management of society’s garbage. This is not to say that ideal solutions should be dismissed, but it should be recognized that during the pursuit of the optimal solution, practical, immediate methods need to be engaged.”
WE CAN BMORE
To further Wheelabrator Baltimore’s commitment to the communities we serve, our WE CAN BMORE campaign is partnering with local residents, businesses, government agencies and organizations to support waste reduction, diversion of waste from landfills, neighborhood beautification and the promotion of sustainable habits.
Educating and engaging communities around sustainability.
WE CAN BMORE is focused on the following goals:
- Increased recycling rates.
- Greater use of reusable materials and products.
- Expanded household composting.
- Engagement in neighborhood cleanups and litter reduction.
- Diversion of non-recyclable waste from landfills.
Investing in waste reduction and recycling.
WE CAN BMORE provides local residents with:
- Recycling bins and easy-to-access information about what can be recycled and when Reusable products like shopping bags and water bottles.
- Investment in recycling and trash pickup days, including dumpsters and recycling collection.