Berkeley looked into incineration in the 1970's because the landfill was
nearly full and the EPA was funding feasibility studies for incinerators. I
think the grant was for $750,000 - a very big project in those days - mostly
for an engineering firm to design and evaluate the plan.
After an initiative ban on incineration, a non-profit recycler built a
recycling and processing center and the City built a transfer station. The
political proponents of incineration pulled some mean and illegal tricks to
sabotage the local recyclers. Two years of bitter and costly fighting in
court and otherwise came to be known as the 'recycling wars'. The battle
ended with the local election in 1984. In that election a recycling
initiative passed by a huge margin, maybe more than 70%, and its supporters,
the progressive City Council candidates were elected.
I don't think incineration will be considered again - not for a couple of
generations, at least.
Berkeley Recycling Center