Incinerators has its benefits
In spite the controversies over incinerators, it remains to be the best option for the disposal of hazardous waste particularly those from healthcare. Medical waste is composed of infectious waste products and sharps that would be extremely unsafe if handled by landfill workers. Incineration does not only reduce the volume of medical waste, extreme heat kills all the pathogens contained in the hazardous materials. Even in well managed livestock farms, mortality cannot be prevented and incinerators provide the solution if burial of the carcass and other disposal options are not viable. Incineration is now a popular treatment for landfill waste particularly in countries where there is scarcity of land.
The technology of waste to energy
The incinerator manufacturer has developed incinerators as an additional source of energy. During the process of incineration, waste products that are treated through extreme heat are converted to gases, steam and heat that can be used for the generation of electricity. The flue gases are treated for the eradication of hazardous pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere. Modern incinerators are significantly different from the incinerators of past years which did not recover any energy and released a lot of hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere. Incinerator manufacturers have seen to it that modern incinerators are fitted with lime scrubbers and electro-static precipitators or smokestacks which prevent acids that might be in the smoke from reaching the atmosphere and wrecking havoc on the environment.
A report from the New York Times in 2010 has substantiated the benefits of waste to energy towards the environment by diminishing the use of landfills and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In Denmark, the incineration plants are so clean that more dioxins are produced by home fireplaces and backyard barbeques than those released through incineration. Incinerators using the waste to energy technology have removed the unsightly and smelly problem of garbage. Without incinerators, landfills will remain to be the end point of a nation’s trash and with the growing population and popularity of consumer products; there will greater need for more land to be converted into landfills.
The technology of waste to energy is not being actively pursued because of powerful environmental groups who are opposed to incinerators. Best practices for the disposal of waste remains to be landfills since not all waste products can be recycled successfully. Another issue is the choice for the site where incinerators can be built because there will always be resistance from communities due to environmental issues.