PSC Says Trash Incineration Not Renewable Energy

Covanta Energy Corp

To the satisfaction of advocates of clean energy in New York, Covanta Energy Corporation withdrew its petition to the New York State Public Service Commission to be considered as eligible as a form of renewable energy.

Covanta’s request is the third time that the PSC considered trash incineration to be worthy of inclusion in the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which was established in 2004 to help support and promote clean and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power as an alternative to the burning of fossil fuels. The RPS is paid for by consumers with a small surcharge attached to their monthly utility bills.

All three rejections by the PSC, in 2004, 2010 and now came as a result of the PSC believing that incineration has an adverse environmental impact, and also due to strong public opposition. This past summer many environmental advocacy groups as well as businesses, elected officials, and thousands of private citizens took the time to submit statements in strong protest against Covanta’s petition. Their arguments are that garbage incineration is not renewable energy and should not be given the same status as wind and solar power.