Emerging Waste-to-Energy Technologies: Solid Waste Solution or Dead End?
I've written about waste-to-energy technologies a number of times, for a few different outlets, but never with as much detail as in my latest feature for Environmental Health Perspectives. It always proves to be a popular subject, and this story helps explain why: not only do recycling, landfilling, and incineration/conversion have implications for energy and resources, climate change, environment and human health, product and packaging design, and land use, but they also represent deeply ingrained, and sometimes sharply conflicting views of what, exactly, waste is. Japan has a different idea than Sweden, and the United States has its own, too. Zoom in even closer and you find various camps with their own ideas, their own priorities, their own opinions of the good and bad symbolized by various approaches. After all, technology isn't neutral, and as Marshall McLuhan declared in 1967, the medium is the message. My story investigates the new technologies at the heart of the waste-to-energy debate and lays out the broader issues and arguments they invite as waste management in the United States evolves in the 21st century. Read more here.