No Incentives for Incinerators
Policies that qualify incinerators—including mass-burn, gasification, pyrolysis, plasma,
refuse derived fuel and other incinerator technologies—for renewable energy credits, tax
credits, subsidies and other incentives present a renewed threat to environmental and
economic justice in U.S. communities.
Incinerators are a toxic technology. Even the most technologically advanced incinerators
release hundreds of distinct hazardous byproducts including dioxins, heavy metals, and
halogenated organic compounds in the form of toxic air emissions, particulates and ash.
Incinerators are a major contributor to global warming. Even by conservative calculations,
typical incinerators emit more greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity
generated than gas-fired power plants. Incinerators also cause far more greenhouse gas
emissions than recycling and other more sustainable waste solutions.
Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately burdened by
incinerator contamination and the global warming consequences of greenhouse gas emissions.
Incinerators trap communities in a cycle of debt and displace more just, affordable and
sustainable waste and energy solutions. Alternatives to incineration such as recycling, reuse and
composting provide far more jobs and are much more economically sensible.
Incinerators waste energy, natural resources and the planet. Incinerator contracts require the
disposal of the earth’s finite resources and encourage the extraction of raw materials to produce
new products. When the life cycle of materials is considered, recycling saves far more energy
than is generated by incineration and causes less greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
THEREFORE, we the undersigned, urge U.S. federal, state, and local agency officials to
prioritize the highest and best re-use of discarded materials and to exclude municipal,
medical, hazardous, and construction and demolition waste incineration from qualifying as
a source of renewable energy, fuel and/or power in any and all papers, programs,
incentives, regulations, legislation and policies.