Waste-To-Energy in the United States: A Social and Economic Assessment

Synopsis

This book presents the first comprehensive and unbiased assessment of the social and economic factors that drive decisions about waste-to-energy (WTE) projects in the United States. Information about each WTE project initiated between 1982 to 1990 is combined with detailed socioeconomic data at the county level to identify the social and economic differences between counties that have completed WTE facilities and counties that have abandoned their projects during the planning process. To examine the effects of political objectives, public attitudes, and the decision process itself, the book reports on four in-depth case studies--two directed at communities that have accepted WTE and two that have canceled WTE projects. The book also discusses the potential health and environmental risks posed by WTE and alternative waste practices, legislative initiatives and regulatory uncertainties, and the potential for energy production from burning our municipal waste.