Waste-to-energy delays progress, eco-group says

Posted on May 15, 2013 by DrRossH in Landfills and Disposal

Waste-to-energy delays progress, eco-group says.

Upwards of 600,000 cars and 500,000 households could be powered by energy from landfilled plastic, says the December 2012 study by the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA).

When Candice AndersonZero Waste Canada’s Ontario director, heard these figures, she told EcoLog News that it’s simply not worth it to recover energy from discarded plastics made from petroleum or natural gas in a chemical process. Waste-to-energy conversion is costly, she says, and it damages the environment while needing to send back more than 30 per cent of the processed waste back to the landfill anyway.

In her eyes, waste-to-energy is seen as a “slippery slope” that provides a crutch for unsustainable industry and postpones the reality of the waste problem, which is not what do to with the waste, but to identify the source of the waste. When tech companies keep racing to innovate new ways to treat waste, society gets farther away from the thinking that product design and actual waste generation are the culprits.