Waste-to-Energy Plants Worse Than Coal: Report

Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 1:17 PM EDT
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Turning waste to energy is more brown than green, according to a new study.

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A new study says waste-to-energy plants that turn garbage into electricity are more polluting than coal-fired power plants.

The Environmental Integrity Project produced the report, which it plans to release Thursday. The group says Maryland, which has three plants operating or under development, is rapidly becoming the nation's capital for waste-to-energy.

The group says its data shows the state's two largest incinerators create more pollution per hour of energy generation  than each of the state's four largest coal-fired plants. The plants are Baltimore's Wheelabrator incinerator and the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility in Dickerson. A third incinerator has been proposed near Frederick.

Environmental groups have criticized a decision by Gov. Martin O'Malley earlier this year to support enhanced incentives for waste-to-energy, saying it will hurt recycling efforts.

The Architect for the Capitol recently announced the Capitol building would start burning its waste for energy as well.

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