RI Considers Burning Some Trash

Mar 20, 2013

The state has a long standing ban on incinerating trash. However a new bill introduced in the senate could allow the Central Landfill to look at incinerating some of the state’s trash.

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation Front Entrance
Credit courtesy RIRRC.org

The senate bill would amend existing laws governing the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, which runs the Central Landfill. It would allow the landfill to consider incineration as part of its development plans, removing an existing ban on such practice.

The Director of the Conservation Law Foundation, Tricia Jedele  says the state looked at such policy in the early 90s and determined that “Incineration of solid waste is the most costly method of waste disposal and that it has known and unknown escalating costs that would seriously jeopardize the public’s interest.”

Jedele says this is the fourth straight year the general assembly has introduced legislation that could revive trash incineration in the state.

She says legislation is a piecemeal way of looking at the issue. “For the general assembly to just move forward now and strike that single line without revisiting all of the underlying data and conversations and material that really built and supported the policy creation in the early 90s is irresponsible.”

The main sponsor of the bill, Senator Susan Sosnowski, says the landfill will max out in a little more than a decade and the state needs to consider alternatives. She says it’s prudent to allow the landfill to look at the possibility of incineration.

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