Here’s the dilemma in a nutshell. People now generate more rubbish removal than we know what to do with! Many landfills are at capacity or OVER capacity. There are not anywhere near enough landfills to handle the volume of rubbish removal we generate. We also know a lot more about the environmental damage that landfills pose.
Further, our rubbish removal is entering our oceans, streams, lakes, and other waterways! Plus, the amount of rubbish we produce eery year is GROWING and recycling rates are pitifully low and have their own environmental perils. As a human race, we know we need new and better solutions to this enormous and completely daunting problem but it seems like most of the solutions we’ve come up with so far generate other types of environmental problems, and in some cases, are just too expensive and or labor intensive.
What country produces the most rubbish removal? According to Forbes Magazine, as well as many other news outlets, the United States is the clear “winner” in this category, producing 236 million tonnes or waste removal per year and rising. Russia comes in at a close second, producing 207.4 million tonnes of rubbish removal a year. This is not exactly a trophy that you’d want to place on your mantle!
By comparison, England and Germany generated 34.85 million tonnes and 48.84 million tonnes of rubbish removal respectively. More importantly, the per capita rates (per individual citizen rate) for both England and Germany was ONE-THIRD the rate of that found in the United States. However, both the UK and German governments seem to be more proactive in their approach to dealing with our rubbish removal crisis.
So, it seems that the United States, being both the largest overall producer of rubbish removal and the largest per capita producer of rubbish removal, should at some point start taking this problem more seriously. Although each state within the United States does exert some control over their own rubbish removal problem, and each state can come up with their own unique plan to deal with it, it is going to take action by the federal government to significantly change these alarming statistics. Currently, however, there seems to be a lack of leadership in this area.
One highly contentious rubbish removal solution being seriously considered and developed in the United States are waste to energy (WTE) plants. To make these plants even more contentious, there is now a move toward burning rubbish removal along with coal in a processed dubbed “co-incineration” or “co-firing.” Opponents of waste to energy plants point out the serious potential for polluting the air. They also point to the fact that this technology tends to undermine and dissuade the development of more efficient recycling schemes.
In President Trump’s administration, the concerns expressed by environmentalists have intensified because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been lessening pollution controls, including air pollution. They have also been rather lackadaisical when it comes to enforcing the pollution laws that still exist. Thus, the issue of waste to energy plants has become more of a political fight between Republicans and Democrats, rather than following what careful and robust science would dictate would be best.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were seventy-one waste to energy plants generating electricity at the end of year 2015. Spread across twenty states, the heaviest concentration of output was in the Northeast and the Florida. In fact, Florida alone generated one-fifth of this power. Collectively, these seventy-one waste to energy plants generated 2.3 gigawatts of electrical energy. Newer data suggests the number of waste to energy plants has grown to eighty-six plants across twenty-five states so the number is growing rapidly, despite the controversy.
This is fueled by (pun intended) the clean energy incentives companies are given for rebranding what used to be referred to for decades as “burning municipal solid waste” as “clean power.” The word “clean” is hotly debated and partially depends on the safeguards put in place to avoid toxic air emissions and the type of technology used. This rebranding also tends to relax the oversight placed on these waste to energy plants.
Here’s a good example of the air pollution that can be generated when burning rubbish removal. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a comparison between the emissions from waste to energy plants and coal plants. Waste to energy plants were found to generate FOURTEEN TIMES MORE MERCURY and FOUR TIMES MORE CADMIUM!
While waste to energy plants may take their place among the various green solutions for dealing with our serious rubbish removal crisis in the future, the technology that exists today is not clean enough for most environmentalists to consider them as “green” or “sustainable.” In fact, these waste to energy plants may actually contribute more to the problem by spurring on the production of MORE rubbish removal rather than incentivise the production of LESS rubbish removal.
Keep in mind too that burning rubbish removal on your personal or business property can generate a great deal of toxins that escape into the air and can travel a great distance away causing harm to many people and animals. It is better to use to a rubbish removal service like Clearabee offers. Clearabee has made a commitment to reuse, upcycle, or recycle (and in that order or priority) as much of the rubbish as they collect as possible. Currently, Clearabee is able to divert about ninety percent of the rubbish they collect from the landfills and this does not involve incineration. You can call them to schedule a booking at a convenient time for you.