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| be Waste Wise | April 29, 2017

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Program Barriers to Waste-to-Energy Adoption

Program Barriers to Waste-to-Energy Adoption

Thanks to the Earth Engineering Center for making this knowledge sharing possible


Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University

QUESTION

What are some of the barriers to waste-to-energy adoption programs by local governments?

 

Shaw Lawrence Otto shawnotto com

SHAWN OTTO

Author, Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America

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 Well, my view, speaking from the U.S., the folks who are concerned about the environment and who lack accurate information become very upset about the idea of a new waste-to-energy facility. And, get organized around it, argue issues like environmental justice, or that we would be dumping or externalizing pollution onto lower economic strata of people that live closer to waste-to-energy facilities, using all kinds of emotional arguments that tend to move democracy, more so than often the facts do. So, a part of that is a messaging concern. A lot of that can be led by environmental groups.

Fortunately, some U.S. liberal groups like the Center for American Progress are beginning to realize that times have changed, the science has changed, and that we’re contributing to climate change by landfilling so much of our waste, and that waste-to-energy is actually a way of reducing climate change. So, if more environmental groups that provide information and messaging to liberals take a closer look at the science, I think that we can begin to move the conversation in a little more productive way.

 

RESOURCES

Article and Comments Section: Waste-to-energy technology is cleaner and safer than generally believed – Shawn Otto (On Minnesota Post) (Comments Section on Ensia)

Report: Recycling and Waste-to-Energy: Are They Compatible? – Eileen Berenyi (Link to PDF)

White Book: Waste-to-Energy in Austria, Figures, Data and Facts – Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Link to PDF)

PRESENTED BY

Scott Kaufman LinkedIn

SCOTT KAUFMAN

Co-Founder, PeerAspect LLC

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