WTE Facts

Resource Recovery: Yesterday's Waste... Today's Energy

  • Waste-to-Energy produces renewable energy in Minnesota, 30 other states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
  • Almost 8% of our country's renewable energy (excluding hydro) comes from Waste-to-Energy.
  • Waste-to-Energy facilities remove recyclables and metals remaining in garbage.
  • Minnesota's Waste-to-Energy facilities annually process into energy enough garbage to fill Target Field nine times.
  • Waste-to-Energy (WTE) is an environmentally sensible approach for curbing¬†greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.
  • USEPA data concludes that MSW landfills, even with active landfill gas-to-energy systems in place, are net emitters of GHG while¬†Waste-to-Energy facilities are net reducers of GHG.
  • GHG emissions are reduced by the equivalent of approximately one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. This is due to avoiding methane from landfills, offsetting the use of fossil fuels, and recovering metals for recycling.
  • A ton of waste processed at a Waste-to-Energy facility generates 9 times more energy than the same ton processed in a landfill with gas recovery.
  • Minnesota State law prefers incineration of waste over disposing in a landfill with methane capture technologies.
 

Sources

  • EPA; http://www.epa.gov/methane/scientific.html
  • EPA; Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks (Exhibit 8-7)
  • EPA; Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks (ES-15)
  • Covanta Energy Corporation; Jeffrey L. Hahn letter to California Air Resources Board
  • Energy Recovery Council
  • Minnesota Statue 115A.02
  • EPA; Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks (ES-13)