Waste To Energy: A Step Forwards Or Backwards For Ohio?

BY ON August 13, 2012

Woman in deep thought

Ohio is now the 12th state in the nation to recognize waste heat as a renewable resource. The passing of Senate Bill 315 brings the potential for great change in my state. Governor Kasich has said:

 “Ohio’s new energy policy also promotes clean-energy generation. While Ohio’s manufacturers are certainly big energy users, they’re also potential sources of clean energy. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much as 2,000 megawatts of energy could be generated by capturing and reusing the waste heat in Ohio factories. That’s enough to power more than 1.4 million Ohio homes. To help encourage this, Ohio’s new energy policy adds waste heat to the list of clean-energy sources, along with solar and wind, that can earn special “renewable energy credits,” credits that manufacturers can then sell for extra income.”

Waste to Energy is a procedure that will take the thousands of pounds of trash in the Greater Cleveland area and convert it in a specially designed plant that is equipped with the most modern pollution control equipment. The reduction in trash volume would be fantastic for our Northern coast…the addition of jobs would be welcome, and the potential for clean energy is encouraging.

As a mother, I often find myself asking for the definition of things. To me the term, “snack” means one thing, but to my 3 year old son, it’s a whole different ballgame that often includes cake. In our society, we have to stop and ask for definitions because everyone approaches life with a different set of values and opinions. What’s important to me, may not be important to my neighbor. The more I read on the topic of waste to energy, the more I see a disparity in the definition of clean energy.

My definition of clean energy includes the need for zero to low emissions. Especially those that do not include carbon or soot! I don’t want to see the lives of those around me change for the worse as we delve into innovative sources for energy that have repercussions that may worsen the situation. I don’t want to see one toxin replaced by another the cause and effect of each choice we make.

Ohio ranks 7th in the nation for energy consumption. Yes, we need a better solution. According to Forbes, China’s waste to energy plants are a lucrative business. These plants wind up burning more coal than trash…and in less financially stable cities, the pollution controls are often turned off because they are too expensive to maintain. This is just one of the reasons why there is resistance among parents and residents toward the introduction of a waste incinerator in Cleveland. In the name of clean green energy, Ohio does not want to be greenwashed.

We need reliable energy sources. We need healthy children. Healthy families need strong Clean Air Standards.


TOPICS: Air Pollution, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Coal, Ohio, Pollution