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RE: [greenyes] Waste-to-Energy

Dear GreenYes-
I hesitate to raise this issue, but here goes. The City I serve sends its
refuse to a waste-to-energy plant. I'm conflicted about the relative
environmental impacts of landfilling vs. WTE. It is my understanding that
our WTE plant meets Air Quality Management District standards. Obviously,
the AQMD does not regulate everything, and you only know about the
emissions that you test for. WTE has more immediate impacts from what is
coming out of the stacks, as compared to the more long-term (and
uncertain) groundwater and other impacts from landfilling. But is it
possible to truly label one of these as the lesser of two evils? Is one
really lesser?

I am personally fully committed to zero waste. However, the City that I
serve continues to generate "waste" and this is an issue I have to deal
with on a daily basis.

When you respond to this post, please do so gently. I am not responsible
for my City's policies, for WTE in general, or for much else in this
world. Please do not offer suggestions as to how to get rid of our WTE
plant. I'm really looking narrowly at the lesser-of-two-evils question.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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