WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A consortium of waste industry partners and local governments today launched the Waste-To-Energy Association (WTEA), a coalition formed to recognize waste-to-energy's valuable role in reducing greenhouse gases and generating renewable energy. Formerly called the Energy Recovery Council, the WTEA is based in Washington, D.C.
WTEA members include companies and local governments served by waste-to-energy plants, as well as those who work in the municipal waste management and energy fields.
More than 70 waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities handle the post-recycled waste of 30 million households and businesses in the United States. The WTE sector employs more than 6,000 essential workers, resulting in a direct economic impact of approximately $400 million.
Thomas P. Hogan will serve as President of the WTEA. Hogan has more than 30 years of experience guiding associations and corporate clients in legal, regulatory, and government relations matters in local, state, and federal arenas.
"As global climate change concerns mount, there is a critical need for the public and policymakers to recognize the valuable role that waste-to-energy facilities play in sustainably disposing of the waste we all generate," Hogan says. "Waste–to–energy is leading the waste sector into the future of sustainable materials management. WTEA will work to educate and advocate on the complexities of managing waste and the net carbon reduction that results from the work being done at WTE facilities across the country every day."
"While demand for essential waste services increases and landfills rapidly fill, waste-to-energy is a solution that recovers and preserves natural resources, diverts waste from landfills and reduces greenhouse gases," says WTEA Board Member and TreasurerAllia Saydjari, who is Senior Director of Sustainability for WIN Waste Innovations, which has 14 waste-to-energy facilities. "Our work contributes to the transition to a more circular economic model, which is urgently needed to mitigate environmental and social impacts from climate change. We are proud to be part of the solution to global climate change."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and European Union recognize waste-to-energy as a preferred method for sustainable waste management.
"Waste-to-energy facilities are key components of our country's waste management strategy," says WTEA Board Member and Secretary Alyssa Wilds, Senior Manager of Corporate Relations at Covanta. "Being a member of the WTEA helps me further important conversations about sustainability, environmental solutions and impact, and WTE's vast benefits to the communities we serve. I am proud to support the WTEA and all of its efforts."
The waste-to-energy method is one of the ways Onondaga County, New York achieves sustainable solid waste management.
Kevin Spillane, Executive Director of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency and WTEA Board Member, says the county's WTE facility reduces the need for critical landfill space and offsets the need for fossil fuel-based power sources by generating enough power for more than 30,000 homes.
"The energy from our WTE facility is an important source of revenue for sustaining our county's other key solid waste management programs, such as our award-winning recycling program, household hazardous waste collection, and composting, all while generating fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions than landfills," Spillane says, adding that the WTEA "will make our industry safer, cleaner, and even more sustainable."
"Solid waste is a valuable resource, and waste-to-energy allows us to make the most of this resource that would otherwise just sit," says Mike Fernandez, Director of the Miami-Dade County (Florida) Department of Solid Waste Management and WTEA Board Member. "But in addition to the fiscal benefits, environmental benefits include a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases such as methane, and a reduction in the volume of waste being disposed in landfills, which diminishes the need for new and expanded landfills. Waste-to-energy is a win-win, and WTEA is leading the charge in educating Americans about the benefits of the WTE method."
"Given the vital role waste-to-energy plays in our local integrated system for waste management, we are grateful for the collaboration and advocacy that will be realized through the reinvigorated WTEA," says WTEA Board MemberMichelle Marsh, who is Chief Business & Compliance Officer for the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "As a municipal authority committed to sustainable waste management, our community has a recycling rate of 46% and has relied on WTE for more than 30 years to reduce the volume of the remaining waste by 90 percent. This minimizes landfill consumption in our county. We look forward to working with our industry peers to ensure waste-to-energy continues to fulfill its critical role as our nation moves toward a more circular economy," Marsh adds.
Hogan and the WTEA staff are engaging community partners and industry stakeholders to ramp up a national coordinated effort to spotlight the important public policy benefits the industry will contribute to a more sustainable tomorrow.
About The Waste-to-Energy Association:
The Waste-To-Energy Association is a national organization representing sustainable waste companies and municipalities that use waste-to-energy facilities in communities across the nation. Current WTEA members own, operate, and utilize a vast majority of the modern waste-to-energy facilities that operate nationwide, safely disposing of municipal solid waste while generating renewable electricity using modern combustion technology equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control systems.
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SOURCE Waste-To-Energy Association