Waste-to-energy is a reliable and renewable form of energy that has become the basis for many of the most successful solid waste management systems in the country. Today, 76 plants throughout the U.S. allow municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste sent to landfills, while also financially benefitting the communities they serve.

These facilities require a significant capital investment and are typically the cornerstone of municipal infrastructure in the communities in which they are located. In addition to managing post-recycled waste that would otherwise be landfilled and producing energy, these facilities provide excellent economic benefits to communities.  Research conducted by Governmental Advisory Associates highlights that the waste-to-energy industry supports more than 14,000 well-paying jobs that have nearly $890 million in total compensation.

In addition, SWANA’s Applied Research Foundation report, titled “The Economic Development Benefits of Waste-to-Energy Facilities,” concludes that:

  • Over the lifespan of a waste-to-energy facility, communities can expect to pay less for MSW disposal than at a regional landfill.
  • Monies spent on waste-to-energy facilities remain within the communities, while 90 percent of the monies spent on landfills will be transferred out of the local economy.
  • Waste-to-energy facilities generate significant amounts of baseload renewable energy which can be sold to the local power grid.

Waste-to-energy facilities are economically sound investments that provide multiple financial and environmental benefits to the communities that utilize them. Today, nearly half of the nation’s waste-to-energy facilities are owned by local governments that have invested in this critical municipal infrastructure to achieve long-term solid waste management solutions. These facilities produce clean, renewable energy while reducing waste volume by 90 percent, making them a great option for communities seeking the most advanced technology to manage their post-recycled waste.

To learn more about waste-to-energy visit the Energy Recovery Council’s website.