results. Three general conclusions may be drawn from this segment of the analyses. First, several factors may be used to define the set of counties likely to consider WTE programs. In particular, scores on population size, density, income, and other factors appear to act as thresholds to define the regions that consider WTE initiatives.
Second, counties that have had WTE initiatives may be grouped into two market sizes, metropolitan and non-metropolitan. The similarity of results in the mean comparisons for metro and non-metro counties is intriguing. It appears that two distinct markets exist: one market for large waste conversion facilities in large dense metropolitan areas and another market in the larger non-metropolitan counties. Variables used in the regression analysis appear to identify those counties in which waste-to-energy may be considered a feasible option.
However, the factors that ultimately lead to the success or failure of a WTE initiative are not among the socioeconomic factors considered in this part of the overall study. Perhaps it is likely that there are more subtle financial, political, and/or institutional factors that are important in determining the likely success of a WTE facility even when the basic set of feasibility criteria is met. The next two chapters investigate several possible candidates.