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To reduce waste volume, local governments or private operators can implement a controlled burning process called combustion or incineration. In addition to reducing volume, combustors, when properly equipped, can convert water into steam to fuel heating systems or generate electricity. Incineration facilities can also remove materials for recycling.

Over one-fifth of the U.S. municipal solid waste incinerators use refuse derived fuel (RDF). In contrast to mass burning—where the municipal solid waste is introduced "as is" into the combustion chamber—RDF facilities are equipped to recover recyclables (e.g., metals, cans, glass) first, then shred the combustible fraction into fluff for incineration.

A variety of pollution control technologies significantly reduce the gases emitted into the air, including scrubbers, which use a liquid spray to neutralize acid gases and filters, which remove tiny ash particles.


·         Links

      A Citizen’s Guide to Incineration Basic information about incineration.

·         Energy Justice Facts about incineration, both positive and negative.

·         Europe Finds Cleaner Energy Source By Burning Trash Environmental benefits of waste-to-energy plants versus traditional waste disposal methods and the reluctance of the U.S. to utilize waste-to-energy plants. 4/12/10

·         Rule and Implementation Information for Other Solid Waste Incinerators Information on EPA Guidelines for solid waste incinerators.

·         Covanta Reopens the Tulsa Energy from Waste Facility Covanta opens a resource recovery facility in Tulsa.

·         Municipal Waste Combustion Basic information about municipal waste combustion.