Massachusetts banned new incinerators 19 years ago, with very good reason, but is now not only promoting biomass incinerators, but apparently is even willing to reconsider incinerators themselves. See this Boston Globe article from May, 2009.
Massachusetts already burns 25% of its trash, compared to a 7% national average.
Haven't our policymakers heard about recycling? Are money and politics driving these decisions? Or could they just be that shortsighted? (Amazing what we can justify to ourselves.)
We won't get really serious about recycling until we're not allowed the easy outs.
A new coalition, Don't Waste Massachusetts (no website yet, apparently) is working to keep any new incinerators out of Massachusetts. You can read more about it at Mass Sierra Club News.
Back in Western Mass., Mary Serreze reports on the five biomass plants proposed for our region. Interestingly, each plant's impact is evaluated separately by state officials, with no look at the combined impact. Losing a litre of blood won't do you irreparable harm, but how about five litres?
The plant proposed by Palmer Paving for Springfield, the most urban of the five affected communities, has some special hazards: it will be allowed to burn up to 75% construction and demolition wood, often saturated with toxins that we clearly wouldn't choose to drink from a cup in front of us.
It's late in the day for organizing to stop Springfield's plant but not too late. Arise for Social Justice is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, July 22nd, 6 pm. at 467 State St., to figure out how to build community opposition to biomass. Join us if you can.
Photo from Asea_'s photostream at Flickr.