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JuLY 2007

SWANA argues for waste-to-energy inclusion in renewable portfolio

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) sent a letter to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) urging him to include waste-to-energy as a renewable energy resource in his renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to be considered by the Senate.

The senator is expected to introduce the RPS as part of an amendment to S. 1115, the Energy Proficiency and Promotion Act, a bill passed in early May by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. While the RPS would help to lower greenhouse gas emissions and encourage production of renewable energy sources, it omits waste-to-energy as such an alternative. SWANA wanted to make Senator Bingaman aware of the value of waste-to-energy as a renewable energy source with “the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) that contribute to global warming and climate change.”

“As stated in our letter, the nation’s waste-to-energy facilities safely manage approximately 95,000 tons of household sold waste per day and have an electric capacity of 2,700 megawatts. We are hopeful that Senator Bingaman will take these facts into consideration and include waste-to-energy in the renewable portfolio standard,” commented John H. Skinner, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of SWANA.

Waste-to-energy meets the two basic criteria for establishing what a renewable energy resource is: that its fuel source (municipal solid waste) is sustainable and that it is indigenous. There are currently 88 waste-to-energy facilities operating in the United States.