Converting Waste to Energy
Waste-to-Energy for a Green Future
Waste-to-Energy is a new project that the United States is participating in this decade. This is considered to be one of the grandest innovation projects that could help reduce the waste that the United States is struggling to reduce. Waste-to-energy is a project that processes waste materials to be turned into electricity. The process works by incinerating these waste materials in a large processor and producing steam that is then converted to power.
Largest Sources of Waste
The sources of these waste materials are from the municipals and communities that surround the waste-to-energy plants. These waste materials are then unloaded in dump trucks, and then, segregated for easy handling. The recyclable products are separated so that it can be used again, and the remaining products are fed into a combustion chamber. The heat that is generated from the burning waste materials is used to produce steam. The steam will then power the turbines that generate electricity.
Bio Mass Plants
Another plant that is used for the waste-to-energy project is that biomass plant. This biomass plant uses materials such as wood, trees, construction and agricultural wastes. These materials are burned as well in the combustion chamber of the biomass plant. The heat will also be used to create steam that will power a steam turbine which will then produce electricity.
The United States efforts to have a more innovative and cleaner energy plants have brought about approximately 86 waste-to-energy facilities that are located in 24 states. These 86 waste-to-energy plants can process over 97,000 tons of municipal solid waste every day. On the other hand, biomass plants in the United States accounts for 49% of all the renewable energy or at least 3.5% of the total energy that is produced in the country.
Statistics show that the United States is processing a rough estimate of 30 million tons of solid wastes every year. This amount of processed solid waste to renewable energy is enough to generate electricity for more than 2 million homes. But despite the great amount of waste that is being processed for the project, this only accounts for 12% of all the municipal solid wastes of the country in a year. Records also show that at least 53% of all the solid waste of the country is dumped in landfills. The remaining 34% are luckily recycled.
Though records show that 53% of all the municipal solid wastes are still dumped in landfills, the efforts of the united states to reduce their waste produces have resulting to a great decline in the numbers of landfills in the country. In 1988, there were over 7,000 permitted landfills in different states. In a survey done in 2005, the number shrunk to at least 1,500 landfills. These existing landfills can still accommodate 20 years of waste dumping at the present rate of waste generation rates.
The United States is still aiming to reduce the number of these landfills. 1,500 is still a great number. The country is also aiming to create a more sustainable and green energy for more years to come.