Five Myths About the Waste-to-Energy Industry

WTE is Expensive: Not true. In the absence of subsidies—which can distort the economics of any public-private project—WTE can be the least expensive strategy, especially when compared to disposing of waste in a secure sanitary landfill and the cost of generating power through more-traditional means. Proper design and the use of industry best practices and modern high-energy efficient designs make WTE competitive with most other waste-treatment options.

WTE Technology Options are Costly and Limited: Not true. Large, high-priced international firms are not the only, or even the most efficient, option available. Deltaway now has access to proven technologies due to the expiration of numerous patents in the field.

WTE Emissions are High: Not true. Modern WTE projects generate fewer emissions than typical conventional fuel power plants, and they eliminate a large portion of the ozone depleting methane generated by landfills. The flue gas treatment in modern WTE projects removes more than 99 percent of dioxins, 96 percent of particulate matters, and 94 percent of HCL.

WTE Contributes to Climate Change: Not true. Life-cycle studies show that WTE reduces greenhouse gases by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents for every ton of trash processed. Methane emissions that would have been generated in a landfill are avoided when the solid waste is used in a WTE facility. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

WTE Creates Large Amounts of Residue: Not true. WTE reduces overall trash volume by about 90 percent, resulting in a commensurate decrease in the land required for garbage disposal. Some ash from a WTE facility can be used in construction material, such as in road bases, reducing the need to extract and transport other materials. A tiny fraction—3 percent—of incoming waste volume remains after combustion and processing for landfill disposal.