Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, Lee and Palm Beach county citizens should feel good about their leadership in developing Energy-from-Waste (EfW) programs also known as waste-to-energy (WTE). Each Floridian produces 1 ton of recoverable waste per year. That 1 ton of waste is converted to the equivalent of 1 barrel of oil or 1/4 ton of coal. The county government leaders in the 1980's made these plants possible in response to Federal programs requiring recycling and by using the corresponding grants to get them started. The citizen response to curbside recycling and bulk recycling by local farms and businesses have made these programs overwhelmingly successful and models for similar action around the world. We hear about China opening a new dirty coal fired plant every week but what gets little press is they are contracting 130 Energy-from-Waste plants for the future. China is far ahead of the US with their National Geographic Greendex Score.
With more cooperation from our global, federal, state and county leaders there is plenty of room to displace more coal fired power companies growth with Energy-from-Waste (EfW) programs. Bone up on the facts so you can throw your support behind the right people and the right programs. Florida utilities and coal producers around the country are lobbying hard for more coal fired plants. Check out this climate change update from Al Gore on TED TALKS.
250 million tons of municipal solid waste processed to date is equivalent to:
- the annual amount of waste landfilled in the U.S.
- over 30 million garbage trucks full of waste, that if placed end to end, would circle the earth over 4 times.
- If landfilled, the waste would have buried the National Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, completely covering the Washington Monument.
Annually, Covanta facilities process:
- enough MSW to fill 18 Empire State Buildings
250 million tons of greenhouse gases avoided is equivalent to:
- planting 6 billion trees
- pulling more than 41 million cars off the road for a year
- the growth of a forest the size of Minnesota in a year
- offsetting the use of 49 coal power plants for one year
Annually, Covanta facilities offset:
- nearly 16 million tons of greenhouse gases
250 million tons of municipal solid waste converted into electricity powers:
- over 11 million homes for a year
Annually, Covanta processes enough MSW to power:
- over 1,000,000 homes
- all the homes in a city the size of Philadelphia and suburbs
In processing 250 million tons of waste, Covanta has recycled over 5 million tons of metal, enough to build 60 Golden Gate bridges.
Annually, Covanta facilities recycle:
- 360,000 tons of metal, enough to build 275,000 hybrid cars
The Hillsborough County site produces enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. They cleanly burn and convert 12,000 tons of waste per day. Hillsborough County is adding a third incinerator at this site on Faulkinburg Road to greatly increase energy output and further reduce the demand for new coal fired plant expansion.