Did you know that the heat created by municipal solid waste can be harnessed for creating electricity? The rate of cities and towns developing such energy sources is increasing and becoming a popular way to reduce energy costs.
The heat level of municipal solid waste varies, with rubber and plastic waste recycling generating more heat than paper and food waste recycling. To illustrate, rubber materials have a heat level of twenty seven million BTU per ton while paper containers have a heat level of sixteen and a half million BTU per ton.
Based on information from the end of 2011, only .3% of total energy generation can be attributed to municipal solid waste. This information provides encouragement for those businesses exploring and preparing to enter the waste-to-energy market. The field is wide open for opportunities and illustrates how energy can be created from non-traditional sources that are frequently found in municipal transfer stations. For materials that could be waste recycled, but are not, converting to energy provides a solution to overflowing landfills. While emissions concerns would need to be addressed, if the electricity generated has greater value than the worth of the waste materials being sold for recycling and reuse, negotiating a solution for reaching an environmental balance is worth exploring.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a town official, resident taxpayer, or local business, investigating the opportunities for waste-to-energy generation could help to reduce energy costs while reduce landfill waste. Take that trash and find ways to turn it into green!