Energy-from-waste?

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Further to various conversations on waste management, it’s a good time to
consider incineration as PART of a plan to deal with present and future waste. One aspect to consider is the possible downsides, before big investments in time, money and faith are made in the program.
At Warden Toller’s prompting, I visited Covanta’s website, a company promoting

Further to various conversations on waste management, it’s a good time to
consider incineration as PART of a plan to deal with present and future waste. One aspect to consider is the possible downsides, before big investments in time, money and faith are made in the program.
At Warden Toller’s prompting, I visited Covanta’s website, a company promoting
the waste-to-energy process. It provides an overview of their strategies and a tease of the actual processes involved. That’s where the skeptical me takes notice. There’s no mention of how waste is brought up to the extreme temperatures required to safely demolish plastic and other durable waste materials.
There must be a tremendous input of energy, because garbage just doesn’t burn like that on its own. Recovering heat energy in the aftermath of incineration is damage control, not free energy. So, until further enlightenment, let’s leave the ‘to energy’ part out of the equation. Is it a good way to dispose of the inorganic, non-recyclable parts of the waste stream? 
That, in itself, could be a better way of dealing with that part of the waste stream than the current transport-and-landfill method. But past programs of a similar nature (plasma gasification) proved to be non-scalable, so the gathering, sorting and transfer of those portions of waste become more, not less complicated.
It still may be a better method if it doesn’t shift citizens’ consciousness away from
personal responsibilities to reduce, re-use and recycle. Incineration should be for
the stuff left over after all the ‘R’s’ are thoroughly exhausted.
Let’s continue investigating and considering because waste management
is a big problem that won’t go away on its own. Only humans can mess the nest in that way.

Robert Wills
SHAWVILLE/THORNE