Tag Archives: recycling

[EXCLUSIVE] Where Do Environmental Groups Stand on Bioenergy?

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

One-quarter of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2015 came from wind (21%) and solar (6%), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, 43% was from generated from bioenergy, combusting trees, crops, manure, and trash for electricity and/or heat, or converting these materials into liquid transportation fuels.

So where do the nation’s largest and most influential environmental groups stand on bioenergy, the largest source of renewables?

The Biomass Monitor contacted representatives for the following organizations (listed alphabetically) to determine their stances on biomass power and heating, liquid biofuels for transportation, and trash incineration: 350*, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation*, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and Stand (formerly Forest Ethics).

*350 and National Wildlife Federation representatives didn’t respond to repeated inquiries, so organizational platforms are based on information found online.

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[NEWS] Trash Incinerator Company Appeals Permits for Competing Facility in Maine

– by Nick Sanbides, Jr., August 12, 2016, Bangor Daily News

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Penobscot Energy Recovery (Bridget Brown/Bangor Daily News)

Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.’s battle with Fiberight over central and northern Maine’s post-2018 trash disposal future is headed to court.

Orrington-based PERC, along with its majority owner, USA Energy of Minnesota, and Exeter Agri-Energy, filed an appeal in Kennebec County Superior Court on Friday saying that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection erred in giving three permits to Fiberight’s proposed $69 million waste processing plant in Hampden.

A spokesman for the Fiberight effort dismissed the appeal, saying it was unlikely to have any impact.

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[NEWS] Pennsylvania Town Afire Over Incinerator Proposal

– by Jeff Platsky, August 8, 2016, Press and Sun Bulletin

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Graphic: Times Tribune

Armed security guards stood at both sides of the room.

Township supervisors were cordoned off from the sizable crowd. Not 10 minutes into the meeting, the first disgruntled audience member walked out.

This is otherwise peaceful Susquehanna County, a rural outpost in northeast Pennsylvania where few things appear to rile its 42,000 residents.

In this Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania, the neighborly feel has taken an ugly turn as reports of a proposed industrial incinerator on a 114-acre plot just east of Interstate 81 off the Gibson exit put some residents in a panic.

Now, emotions are clearly pitched. Tempers flare. Residents are on edge. And details on this potentially landscape-changing project are few.

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[NEWS] Nanjing, China Cancels Trash Incinerator Proposal After Protests

– August 5, 2016, China.org.cn

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Chinese citizens protest trash incineration (BBC)

The eastern city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, has put an end to a controversial waste incineration project following public uproar.

The government of Nanjing’s Liuhe District announced on Thursday that it will stop the incineration project after widespread public disapproval. A scheduled public consultation on Thursday was subsequently canceled.

The announcement received a lukewarm, or even hostile, reception online with many netizens saying that they are not against the incineration plant, but rather where it is built, and whether it will operate in accordance with rules to avoid pollution.

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[NEWS] Is Sustainable Trash Burning a Load of Rubbish?

– by Carrie Arnold, August 1, 2016, Smithsonian

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Municipal solid waste incinerator (Ole Poulsen)

Paul Gilman wants your trash.

Gilman isn’t a hoarder, and he maintains an admirable standard of personal cleanliness. But when he passes the dumpsters linked up at the end of driveways on trash day, filled with unwanted garbage to be taken to a landfill, all he sees is waste. To Gilman, chief sustainability officer at Covanta Energy, garbage represents an untapped and surprisingly clean source of energy.

The world is drowning in garbage. Between squalid dumps outside of slums, landfills tucked away into economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the tons of plastic endlessly circulating in the ocean, our trash is polluting every last nook and cranny of the planet. At the same time, humanity is using up the world’s fossil fuels at an ever faster clip, throwing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and depleting reserves of oil and coal. Gilman and advocates of waste-to-energy approaches believe that they can solve both problems simultaneously.

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Support A Full Spectrum View of Bioenergy

If you’re reading this, knowing what’s going on in the bioenergy world is important to you.

Whether you’re in the industry, an environmental or public health advocate, a journalist, a student, a government agency staffer, an elected official, or just bio-curious, you count on The Biomass Monitor to give you the nation’s most comprehensive look at this popular and controversial energy source.

There are a lot of sources of information for bioenergy these days, but very few of them cover the whole spectrum of views. While some media outlets might attempt this, they often fail due to a limited understanding of the science and oversimplification of the debate.

How much do you value The Biomass Monitor, the one publication out there offering you all sides of the story on biomass and biofuels? Enough that you’re willing to support our work to make sure it continues?

Here’s a little reminder of what we’ve been up to for the last seven years:

  • Every month, The Biomass Monitor puts out meticulously-researched, balanced, and high quality investigative journalism focused on the number one form of “renewable” energy in the U.S., bioenergy.
  • Our articles regularly appear in widely-read national publications including Truthout, Earth Island Journal, EcoWatch, Alternet, and Counterpunch, as well as popular local media outlets, such as the Boulder Weekly (100,000+ readers) and the Glendale-Cherry Creek Chronicle (the largest mailed print publication in Denver, Colorado).
  • We’re now publishing point-counterpoint opinion pieces in each monthly issue, where biomass supporters and critics alike discuss important issues relevant to bioenergy, like climate change, public health, and forests.
  • On a daily basis, we monitor, filter, and distribute the latest bioenergy news from around the nation via our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Our feed is one-stop shopping for anyone who wants to be kept in the loop on the latest bioenergy proposals, science, and politics.
  • We host free, monthly conference calls featuring experts speaking on various aspects of bioenergy.
  • We’re constantly contacting journalists across the nation writing on bioenergy and offering them a list of the most relevant contacts in the bioenergy field (industry groups, opponents, scientists, and everyone in between) to encourage balanced and informed media coverage.
  • We curate an extensive list of peer-reviewed scientific studies and reports relevant to bioenergy.

With everything that The Biomass Monitor delivers, surely you can agree that no other publication in the U.S. even comes close to what we’re doing. And, that with topics such as climate change, renewable energy, public health, and the environment becoming more and more crucial, we’re an important feature in today’s media landscape.

But none of this can keep happening without sustainable funding. And that’s why we’re contacting you today.

If you value the unique work of The Biomass Monitor—and are concerned about what its absence would mean when it comes to informing the public about one half of all “renewable” energy—please consider offering your financial support today.

Whether it’s $15, $35, $100 or more, your tax-deductible gift goes a long way towards ensuring that the American public stays abreast of the issues of biomass power and heating, ethanol and liquid biofuels, and trash and waste incineration.

Thanks for your consideration and ongoing readership.

Sincerely,

Josh Schlossberg, Editor-in-Chief (Denver, Colorado)
Samantha Chirillo, Associate Editor (Eugene, Oregon)

Editorial Board:
Roy Keene, Forester (Eugene, Oregon)
Dr. Brian Moench, Physician (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Jon Rhodes, Hydrologist (Portland, Oregon)
George Wuerthner, Ecologist (Bozeman, Montana)

[NEWS] Mixed Feelings on Possible Closure of Massachusetts Trash Incinerator

– by Adam Frenier, August 2, 2016, New England Public Radio

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Covanta’s Pittsfield, MA trash incinerator (Adam Frenier/New England Public Radio)

Pittsfield city officials are trying to figure out their next step with the city’s trash incinerator poised to shut down in March. Covanta the operator of the waste-to-energy facility, says economic conditions are causing them to close the plant. This news has been met with applause by environmentalists and has sent at least one business scrambling.

The incinerator isn’t much on the eyes. It’s a gray, concrete building with several small chimneys on the roof and a large smoke stack next to it, the output of which you can see from a distance during the cold Berkshire winter. Along with commercial customers, Pittsfield trucks the garbage here that residents leave on their curb. And while it’s burned, steam is generated.

Much of it is piped eight-tenths of a mile just over the town line to Dalton, to Crane Paper.

Crane is the only maker of paper for US currency. During a recent tour, a turbine generating some of the electricity the factory needs screeches away. Most of the steam, though, is used in the paper-making process.

Rich Rowe, the head of Crane’s currency paper operation says if the Pittsfield trash incinerator does go off-line, the company will have to shell out several million dollars to buy a new boiler in order to generate steam. And going forward?

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