Charleston's incinerator looks likely to be renewed for 20 years

Image by Flickr user mugley Image by 20090308-trash.jpg

On Thursday, March 12th, a consultant will recommend to Charleston County Council whether they should renew a contract for the county's trash incinerator.

Read more stories on this subject in our incinerator topic page.It's an issue I've already chatted about the merits of at length. What is new is that at a time when the community is rallying and saying that proposed improvements to the facility are not enough, a report has come out that says not burning the trash would be more harmful to the overall environment.

It's a statement important enough that it has gotten the Coastal Conservation League to switch to a neutral stance on the incinerator.

And I suspect that may weigh heavy on the County Council's mind (who's already leaning towards renewing the facility for 20 years), especially as it won't be easy to find a place to burry the 220,000 tons of trash burned per year.

If your eyebrow is raised by this situation, check out the above links and head down to public meeting with the consultant on Thursday, March 12th, at 9 a.m. in Charleston County Council Committee Room #B225 at the Lonnie Hamilton Public Service Building at 4045 Bridge View Drive in North Charleston.

A final word of unsolicited advice

The trash-vaporizing plasma option I talked about a while back looks like it is making good progress at it's first site in the United States.

As far as I know this option hasn't even been considered for Charleston. Yes, it's still forward looking and would need years to get off the ground. But so is a 20-year contract to burn trash. The county could be including working towards plasma gasification in that contract, but they're not.

Why should they? Because plasma gasification does the same thing as plain-old trash burning, only better. Through burning the trash at much higher temperatures you get more energy out of the trash and almost no harmful emissions.

Heck, maybe there's a way we could be using green stimulus dollars to do this.