Waste To Energy

Maryland has recently seen a surge in proposals to construct or expand Waste-to-Energy (WTE) incinerators which will result in more than doubling Maryland’s capacity to incinerate trash for energy use. These facilities combust trash (i.e. municipal solid waste) to generate electricity and produce steam for heating buildings. Although industry reports show that no incinerators were constructed in the entire country between 1996 and 2007, Maryland currently has at least three projects – the new Energy Answers plant in Baltimore City, the proposed expansion of the Harford County Resource Recovery Facility, in Harford County, and the proposed Frederick County Incinerator in Frederick County – under development or already permitted for construction. In light of this recent trend, the Environmental Integrity Project researched the emissions from these facilities, the policies underlying this trend, the impact on renewable energy in Maryland, and steps Maryland can take to minimize emissions or reduce the need for new plants.