Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Published: April 12, 2010
HORSHOLM, Denmark ― The lawyers and engineers who dwell in an elegant enclavehere are at peace with the hulking neighbor just over the back fence: a vast energy plant that burns thousands of tons of ho河南省汝南县人民医院癫痫科怎么样usehold garbage and industrial waste, round the clock.
Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Dozens of filters catch pollutants, from mercury to dioxin, that would have emerged from its smokestack only a decade ago.
In that time, such plants have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel sour怎样治颠痫ce across Denmark, from wealthy exurbs like Horsholm to Copenhagen’s downtown area. Their use has not only reduced the country’s energy costs and reliance on oil and gas, but also benefited the environment, diminishing the use of landfills and cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The plants run so cleanly that many times more dioxin is now released from home fireplaces and backyard barbecues than from in癫痫病患者的寿命cineration.
With all these innovations, Denmark now regards garbage as a clean alternative fuel rather than a smelly, unsightly problem. And the incinerators, known as waste-to-energy plants, have acquired considerable cachet as communities like Horsholm vie to have them built.
Denmark now has 29 such plants, serving 98 municipalities in a country of 5.5 million people, and 10 more are pla癫痫小发作的症状nned or under construction. Across Europe, there are about 400 plants, with Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands leading the pack in expanding them and building new ones.
By contrast, no new waste-to-energy plants are being planned or built in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says ― even though the federal government and 24 states now classify waste that is burn