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Taking Out the Trash Burners


Taking Out the Trash Burners

Annie Leonard

Having scored one big victory for jobs and the environment, a group of Baltimore activists is trying to take things to the next level. Curtis Bay, their heavily polluted Baltimore neighborhood, had been bracing for a $1 billion garbage incinerator that would have lowered Maryland’s already poor air quality.


For a time I worked in the waste industry. Before that, when I first got into heavy construction it was on a $500m trash-burning power plant on the south side of Columbus, Ohio. Within several years of that plant going online the EPA ordered it to shut down. Heavy metals and the cancer rate downwind went off the charts. Later when I began working in the waste industry, written into the solid waste disposal regs the Fed stated that incineration is by far the worst and the very last resort for disposal.

From my experience, and I have worked a very wide variety of fields associated with civil engineering and infrastructure, waste is the most difficult endeavor I have ever been a part of. It touches absolutely every aspect of our lives, our commerce, and our health. I believed in what I was doing when I went to work there, but the industry is rife with corruption and political stupidity from almost every side. It was the garbage problem that created the acronym NIMBY.

I agree with much of what this author said, but if the assholes in Washington won't even appropriate money to fix the infrastructure that is used by all, what fucking chance is there that they will allocate any money for those efforts Ms. Leonard proposes. ABSOLUTELY NONE.

Sorry about the language; in that regard I am the stereotypical construction worker.


Don't burn, baby, burn


In So. Florida, Everglades fish come with a warning not to eat. They are loaded with mercury from the incinerator at Pompano Beach. When it runs out of trash to burn, it imports it from outside the town.