Compost Chicken Manure, Don't Burn It

- by Mike Ewall, December 19, 2014, Baltimore Sun 

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"384","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"183","style":"width: 180px; height: 183px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;","width":"180"}}]]Dan Rodricks' recent column urged the new governor to get a large-scale poultry waste incinerator built on the Eastern Shore ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13). This awful idea has been floated for 15 years now and has gone nowhere despite an array of government subsidies. In that time, these incinerators have been banned in Delaware and at least 10 proposals have been stopped throughout the U.S. (and several more around the world). I know because my organization, Energy Justice Network, supported most of these communities in their justified opposition. One has been built in the U.S., in Minnesota, and it was plagued by air pollution violations requiring expensive new pollution controls and was later caught burning unauthorized waste streams.

Nearly all of these incinerators are in the United Kingdom. Data presented by university researchers in Ireland at a biomass industry conference a few years ago showed that dioxin pollution from burning poultry waste was 2.6 times the legal limit in Europe. Dioxins are the most toxic man-made chemicals known to science and mainly accumulate in meat and dairy products, including contaminating poultry.

Poultry waste burning, like other forms of "biomass" incineration, releases 50 percent more carbon dioxide than coal, creating problems for global warming. Releases of several other key pollutants would also be worse than a new coal power plant, as permit comparisons have shown in North Carolina. Green Planet Power Solutions is currently being subsidized by Maryland to burn 466 tons per day of poultry litter in Somerset County and is seeking to be exempt from pollution control requirements usually in place for incinerators.

There's a reason why Exelon and other power companies aren't pursuing building these. They're prohibitively expensive and can only exist with regulatory exemptions, federal "renewable" energy tax credits and state subsidies including power purchase agreements as well as renewable energy credits in the state's incinerator-heavy "renewable" energy mandate which some are seeking to double.

A real green governor would stop throwing public money at expensive and polluting incinerator "quick fixes" and deal directly with the problem: that there is too much poultry production in one place and that the waste currently produced can and should be handled with green alternatives such as aerobic composting.

Concerns About Syracuse, NY Trash Incinerator Pollution

- January 6, 2015, LocalSYR

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"375","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 222px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]It’s the next step to allow trash from Cortland County to be brought into Onondaga County’s Waste to Energy facility.

Both counties’ legislatures this week have held public hearings on the so called “Ash for Trash” plan.

For two decades now Onondaga County's Waste to Energy facility has been burning trash only from Onondaga County.

The legislature is now considering changing that law to allow for trash to come in from Cortland County.

The the extra trash would allow the incinerator to meet the minimum levels of trash it handles as established in a new contract agreed to between OCRRA and the plant operator, Covanta.

Maryland “Zero-Waste” Plan Draws Fire Over Inclusion of Incineration

- by Timothy B. Wheeler, December 15, 2014, The Baltimore Sun

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"357","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 325px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]With Marylanders throwing away far more trash per person than the average American, the O'Malley administration released a long-range plan Monday to virtually eliminate placing waste in state landfills in the next 25 years. The plan is drawing mixed reaction, however, as environmentalists criticize the blueprint's embrace of burning debris to generate energy.

State officials say that curtailing placing waste in landfills can save communities and taxpayers money, conserve energy and natural resources, and reduce pollution, including the release of climate-warming greenhouse gases.

Marylanders have more than doubled their recycling rates in the past two decades, the plan notes, now diverting about 45 percent of what once was thrown away. However, the state's residents still discard more than half their waste, with most of that going to landfills, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

In a statement accompanying the plan's release, Gov. Martin O'Malley called it "an ambitious policy framework to create green jobs and business opportunities while virtually doing away with the inefficient waste disposal practices that threaten our future."

A Dollar a Day Keeps the Smokestacks Away

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"356","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"color: rgb(73, 73, 73); font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; line-height: 20.671998977661133px; width: 444px; height: 444px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;","width":"480"}}]]This is not just another fundraising letter.  We want to remind you of all the services we provide to help YOU protect your community from corporate polluters.  After all, Energy Justice Network exists to empower, inform, advise and support grassroots activists to win victories -- transforming communities from dumping grounds for dirty energy and waste industries into vibrant places where clean solutions can flourish.

We're excited that 2014 has been our best year yet, with 16 victories that we helped make possible.  It's also been our best year for individual donations, totaling about $80,000 so far.  Our goal is to reach $100,000 by the end of the year.  Please help if you can by making a donation of $15-150 for 2015!  We plan to expand our capacity to better serve the many communities seeking our support over the coming year.

How we help you win:

Community Organizing Support and Advice - We've "been there and done that" and can help you get a community group organized and on a path to victory.  We can help with strategy development, outreach plans, how to use open records laws and public hearings to your advantage, social media strategies, corporate research, designing flyers and websites, and much more.

Getting Networked! – We can put you in touch with other grassroots activists who you might want to know in your area, or those elsewhere who have fought the same company, technology or fuel, so you can learn from their experience.  We also use conference calls and email discussion lists to help you connect on specific issues.  We have lists on natural gas, nuclear, coal, several types of incineration (separate lists for trash, biomass, tire and poultry waste incineration), ethanol biorefineries, electric power transmission lines and more.

Information / Research – We document the problems with technologies that communities face, making complex info into useful factsheetspowerpoints and articles available through our newsletter, Energy Justice Now, and throughout our Energy Justice.net and EJnet.org websites.  We have access to legal and science journal databases, and data from industry conferences that we can tap to help you.

Speaking / Trainings - Need a speaker, trainer or workshop presenter?  We do trainings for students, community groups and conferences on a range of topics and skills.  See Mike and Alex's topic lists for a guide.

Limited Legal and Technical Support - We help communities stop polluters with local ordinances, and understand many complex technical and legal issues.

Energy Justice Map - Our interactive mapping site tracks existing, proposed, closed and defeated dirty energy and waste facilities, the corporations behind them, and the people and groups fighting them.  It allows you to share information on polluters you're fighting, let people find your group through our site, and learn what polluters are in (or planned for) your area. 

Our new JusticeMap.org site is the first to enable easy race and class demographic mapping, and is being integrated into our mapping site, so you can easily build environmental justice maps, showing if polluters are targeting low-income or communities of color.  Our newest EJ mapping tool allows you to evaluate environmental justice trends in entire industries.

Policy Analysis and Development - With an eye for loopholes that would allow polluting industries to continue to harm communities, we've pushed to strengthen energy, waste and climate policies at all levels of government, and among our environmental allies.

Working with Students and Youth - We have a long history with the student environmental movement, from working with the Student Environmental Action Coalition since the 1990s, to co-founding Energy Action Coalition in 2004, to founding state-wide student environmental networks in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Our new Energy Justice Shale Initiative has brought students and recent college graduates together in a group house to work with shalefield residents fighting fracking, compressor stations and pipelines in the most fracked community in the nation, in northeastern Pennsylvania.  

An Energy Justice Shale Convergence is planned for mid-March to train students and others to support local residents in Susquehanna County, PA.  We have other campus organizing resources compiled here.

Activist Calendar - Share your events on our calendar!  It's the only one to organize events by geography, so if you sign up for our map and want event updates by email, you'll see all the major events, and only have to see the local ones for your area.

Action Alert System - Tired of using online petitions like change.org where you don't get all of the contact info from those who sign?  So were we, so we made our own system, which Energy Justice member groups can also use (joining is free!).  You'll get the full contact info from all who sign, and can target state or national legislators by district, or other email targets.  Unlike change.org, the message will go to the target, and direct from the signer's email.  Messages and alerts can include links and images, too!  Contact us if you're interested.


How do we provide all of this with a skeleton crew of two full-time and four part-time people and almost no overhead costs?  Let's just say, we're good at what we do, and are the best investment you can make to support grassroots work over the coming year!  Please make a generous donation of $15-150 for 2015.  Regular, monthly donations (no matter how small) are even better!

...and if we're the ones who should be supporting you, please be in touch and we'll join you on the path to victory!

Happy Holidays!

Mike, Traci, Aaron, Alex, Josh and Samantha

Florida Waste Company Seeks to Close Incinerator, Transfer Trash

- by Brittany Wallman, December 9, 2014, Sun Sentinel

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"340","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"139","style":"width: 362px; height: 139px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;","width":"362"}}]]Neighbors of the "Mount Trashmore'' landfill in northern Broward descended on County Hall Tuesday, worried about plans to close a trash-burning incinerator in the region.

Hundreds piled into County Commission chambers, some having arrived on a bus from the Wynmoor Village senior condo coummunity in Coconut Creek. City officials and residents there fear the displaced trash could end up heaped upon the landfill, officially named Monarch Hill but long dubbed Mount Trashmore by locals.

Waste Management's Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. wants Broward County Commission approval to stop using the northern trash-to-energy plant. Under the proposal, the garbage would rumble south in trucks through the heart of the county to an incinerator on U.S. 441, north of Griffin Road.

Incinerator in Frederick, MD Canceled After Decade-Long Fight

- by Patrice Gallagher, No Incinerator Alliance

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"331","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","style":"width: 333px; height: 222px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;","title":"Photo: No Incinerator Alliance","width":"480"}}]]On November 20, 2014, Frederick County, Maryland's Board of County Commissioners cancelled plans to build a 1500 ton-per-day waste-to-energy incinerator, ending a 10 year citizens' effort to kill the project and put better alternatives for community waste management in place.

The vote was 3 to 2, and all three who voted to cancel had previously supported the project.

As a citizen activist who has fought this project since 2006, it feels great to finally be able to put this terrible idea to rest, and begin to help our county focus on more recycling, repurposing and composting — perhaps in the form of a Resource Recovery Park, as many other communities around the nation are doing successfully.

How did we do it? I suppose the best answer I can give for this is: persistence. The organized opposition got its start with one woman who decided to educate herself and any other interested citizens by inviting to our community a national expert on sustainable waste management. He made a lot of sense to us... much more sense than those advocating for a large incinerator project — the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority.

We began as a loose coalition of activists from many walks of life, most of whom had no knowledge or experience in waste management, but who educated ourselves along the way and were fortunate to eventually attract national experts and environmental organizations (including Energy Justice Network), engineers, lawyers and accountants to our ranks, who shared their expertise with us and helped us make the case against incineration, and in favor of other more economically and environmentally sound ways to think about our waste as a resource to be reused, not burned.

Commissioners Scrap Frederick, MD Incinerator Plan

- Associated Press, November 21, 2014, Herald-Mail

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"313","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 283px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]The Frederick County Commissioners are scrapping plans for a waste-to-energy incinerator after more than five years of debate.

The Frederick News-Post reported that the board voted 3-2 Thursday night to cancel a contract with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. for the $471 million project.

The board unanimously voted in favor of hauling the county's trash to an out-of-state landfill for up to five years.

The project suffered a blow in April when Carroll County pulled out of an agreement to jointly fund the project.

The incinerator had been planned for an industrial park south of Frederick near the Monocacy National Battlefield. Opponents, including the National Park Service, had argued it would pollute the air and water, and obstruct views from the Civil War site.

College Trash Habits Cause Concern, as Does Incinerator in Chester

- by Bobby Zipp, November 20, 2014,  Swarthmore Phoenix

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"311","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 189px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]Two weeks ago, a group of the Green Advisors conducted a waste audit of Kohlberg Hall and the Science Center. The purpose of the annual audit is to create a visual representation of the amount of waste produced by those buildings and test how well the Swarthmore community knows what to compost, recycle and put in the trash. Spearheaded by Green Advisor coordinators Kelley Langhans ’16,  Indy Reid-Shaw ’17 and Laura Laderman ’18, a team of GAs spent a day sorting through the 347 pounds of waste that was produced by Kohlberg and the Science Center on a single day and recorded the amount of waste in each of the three categories that was incorrectly disposed of. They found that out of everything that had been placed in trash bins, 35.3 percent of it was actually trash, and the rest could have been composted or recycled. Trash at Swarthmore is burned at Covanta Waste facility in Chester, the largest energy-from-waste incinerator in the country, which is located about eight miles away from the college.

October/November issue of Energy Justice Now | Where the Climate March Tripped Up

Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the October / November issue of Energy Justice Now, a forum for the dirty energy resistance.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"299","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"width: 480px; height: 480px; float: left; margin: 3px 10px;","width":"480"}}]]Inside this issue:

- Fossil Fuel Divestment: How to Evolve the Campaign

-  Are Carbon Taxes Another False Solution?

-  Biomass Energy: Another Kind of Climate Change Denial

...and more!

Please share the October / November 2014 issue of Energy Justice Now with your friends, colleagues, neighbors, media, and elected officials! 

Subscribe to monthly email issues of Energy Justice Now!

 

 

 

UMaine to Study "Trashanol" Effect in Maine

- by Grady Trimble,  October 24, 2014, WLBZ

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"298","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 210px; float: left; margin: 3px 10px;"}}]]A team of University of Maine researchers are gearing up to study the possibility of bringing new technology called "Trashanol" to Maine.

"Trashanol" is a waste-to-energy technology developed by Maryland-based company Fiberight. Basically, it is a process that converts household waste into fuel.

The technology is sparking interest in Eastern Maine, because pretty soon, nearly 200 towns in the region will face substantially higher costs to dispose of their trash at the PERC plant in Orrington. The long term contracts for those towns is up in 2018, and they are all expecting PERC will drastically increase their fees.

Those towns, which are represented by the Municipal Review Committee, or MRC, hired UMaine researchers to explore "Trashanol" as an alternative. While the deal hasn't been finalized yet, MRC will spend $20,000 for the research. Dr. Hemant Pendse with UMaine's Forest Biodproducts Research Institute will lead it.