Maryland State Assembly: Vote NO on Waste Incineration Mandate (SB 799)
Trash incineration is the most expensive and polluting way to manage waste or make energy. This one-industry bill would massively promote burning Maryland's trash and must be stopped for the sake of our health, environment and pocketbooks.
Please vote NO on SB 799 / HB 1266. This bill, written by and for Covanta, the nation's largest trash incineration corporation, perverts the concept of "zero waste" by mandating "zero waste to landfills" -- phasing out direct landfilling of waste, creating a huge market for an even filthier technology: trash incineration.
Incineration is the most expensive and polluting way to manage waste or to make energy. In recent testimony before DC City Council, the incinerator industry’s trade association president even conceded that incineration is more expensive than landfilling and is more polluting than coal power plants. In fact, incinerators in the U.S. release 28 times more dioxin than coal to make the same amount of energy, twice as much carbon monoxide, 2.5 times more carbon dioxide, three times as much nitrogen oxides (NOx), and six times as much mercury and lead -- contributing to asthma, cancers birth defects, learning disabilities and more.
Landfills are a problem, but incinerators do even more damage, first by emitting toxins into the air, including new ones created while burning, then by dumping their toxic ash in landfills, continuing the toxic threat to groundwater that landfills pose.
Maryland should follow the lead of true “zero waste” pioneers, that divert waste from both landfills and incinerators through reducing, reusing, recycling and composting as much as possible. San Francisco recently reached 80% diversion, and creates good jobs in the process. These “zero waste” solutions produce ten times as many jobs as landfills and incinerators, without blowing the budget on expensive incinerator technologies. Smaller cities, and even rural counties have made great strides as well. Let us make Maryland a leader, not a follower, in zero waste and green jobs.
Please vote NO on this bill, and support amendments that would minimize waste flowing to landfills and incinerators, not just to landfills, and commit the issue to study by a balanced task force (not the industry-biased on proposed).
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