Incinerators Blocked / Closed, U.S. & Canada, 2012-2017
Harford County, MD: incinerator to close (Baltimore Sun, “Harford’s waste-to-energy incinerator to close for good March 17,” 3/7/2016)
Hamilton County, OH: Sewage sludge incinerator to close, alternatives being investigated (Fox19, “Little Miami waste incinerator facility set to close,” 3/20/2016; WCPO, “Sewer district hopes to build bio-digesters to turn human waste – yep, human waste – into fertilizer,” 3/18/2016)
Portland, OR: A test facility Agilyx (related to Waste Management) was closed (The Oregonian, “Economy took steam out of gas production, so Agilyx retools,” 2/21/2016)
Broward County, FL: announced closure of incinerator (Sun Sentinel, “Broward garbage-to-energy plant will close,” 5/19/2015)
Sanford, FL: sewage sludge incinerator closed (Maxwest) (City of Sanford document: “Bankruptcy of MaxWest Environmental Systems, Inc. – For approximately five years, MaxWest handled the City’s biosolids side of the treatment plants. With their bankruptcy, City staff has had to be involved with ultimate disposal to an outside treatment facility. This will result in higher operating cost to the City.”)
Jackson County, MI: incinerator closed after strong community organizing (MLive, “Jackson County incinerator to close Sept. 30, will continue to accept waste until facility is decommissioned,” 9/26/2013)
Biddeford, ME: incinerator closed (Portland Press Herald, “Biddeford without MERC: ‘We will no longer be known as a stink town’,” 11/30/2012) (Portland Press Herald, “Incinerator exit ignites recycling in Biddeford,” 7/14/2014)
Charleston County, SC: incinerator closed after strong community organizing (Post and Courier, “County Council votes to halt talks with incinerator firm,” 5/29/2009)
Claremont, NH: incinerator closed after strong community organizing (Barre Montpelier Times Argus, “Wheelabrator incinerator to close next month,” 8/2/2013; Valley News, “Not All Worried About Wheelabrator,” 8/2/2013)
Chicago, IL: Tire incinerator closes (Chicago Tribune, “Ford Heights incinerator to close for good,” 2/26/2013)
INCINERATOR PROPOSALS BLOCKED
Sandy, UT: City ends partnership with Navitus Sustainable Industries after failure to build pyrolysis incinerator (The Salt Lake Tribune, “After giving up on converting trash to electricity, Sandy plans to dump garbage in a new landfill,” 6/28/17)
Baltimore, MD: conventional refuse derived fuel (RDF) incinerator proposed by Energy Answers, permit expired and was ended by state after extensive community organizing, legal action, and more opposition. (Baltimore Brew, “Maryland declares Energy Answers’ Fairfield incinerator permit expired,” 3/17/2016)
Houston, TX: One Bin proposal dropped after strong opposition, longer term plans for this project included incineration. (Houston Public Media, “Mayor Turner: Houston’s One Bin Program All But Dead,” 2/25/2016; Texas Campaign for the Environment)
Vancouver, British Columbia: joint government effort to build new incinerator indefinitely postponed. (The Province, Garbage shortage prompts Metro Vancouver to scrap plans for new incinerator, 12/10/2015; Zero Waste Canada press release)
Denver, CO: Denver Zoo cancels proposed gasification incinerator to burn zoo trash and animal wastes after calls for disclosure and concern about emissions. (Denver Post, “Denver Zoo ditches plans to convert elephant dung for electricity,” 9/25/2015)
Ottawa, Ontario: City cancelled contracts with Plasco for plasma gasification incineration. (Ottawa Citizen, “Ottawa severs ties with Plasco as company files for creditor protection,” 2/10/2015)
Hilo, Hawaii: city withdrew RFP for an incinerator. (Big Island Chronicle, “Scrapped Incinerator, Now What?,” 2/21/2015)
Peel Region, Ontario: Pursuit of proposed Peel Energy Recovery Centre (PERC) incinerator ended by regional council. (Mississauga News, ‘Peel Council stops plan to build $580M garbage incinerator,” 10/29/2015)
Port Hope, Ontario: The city council turned down a proposal by Entech-REM to build a garbage gasification incinerator (Northumberland Today, “No incinerator for Port Hope,” 3/17/2015)
Frederick County, MD: County ends effort to build conventional incinerator after nearly a decade of community organizing and financial setbacks. (Frederick News Post, “County scraps plans for waste-to-energy incinerator,” 11/21/2014)
North Las Vegas, NV: Gasification incinerator proposal by EnviroPower Renewable Inc. was pulled after community members exposed failed track record in India and Argentina. (Las Vegas Sun, “Company pulls plug on gasification plant in NLV,” 3/6/2014)
Minneapolis, MN: proposal to expand capacity of existing HERC Covanta incinerator blocked due to strong community organizing. (The Journal (Minneapolis), “Hennepin County drops request to increase burning at HERC,” 1/31/14; Southside Pride, “County Gives Up on Burner Increase – MPCA Renews Commitment to Incineration,” 2/17/2014; Minneapolis Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; Minneapolis Neighbors for Clean Air; )
New York, NY: a city RFP process for gasification incineration was quietly dropped in 2013 with a new mayoral administration.
Oneida Reservation, WI: Attempt by Seventh Generation to build an incinerator was blocked after community opposition. (Zero Waste World, Oneida Nation & Green Bay Ban the Burning of Waste, 6/25/2013)
Green Bay, WI: Attempt by Seventh Generation to build an incinerator blocked after community opposition. (Zero Waste World, Oneida Nation & Green Bay Ban the Burning of Waste, 6/25/2013)
Ada County / Boise, ID: Ada County ended a contract with Dynamis Energy, a gasification incinerator company, but lost a $2 million loan to Dynamis in the process. (Boise State Public Radio, Dynamis Contract With Ada County Set To End, $2 Million Loan Won’t Be Repaid, 2/15/13)
Gonzales, CA: A Plasco plasma gasification incinerator proposal was put on hold after the company was disqualified from receiving state renewable energy subsidies. (Monterey County Weekly, “Plasco puts trash gasification plant on hold after state declines to redefine renewables,” 8/30/2012; Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice)
Rockbridge County, VA: Incineration proposals by Community Energy Independence Inc. and EcoCorp Inc. ended by board of supervisors (Rockbridge Report, “Future of Rockbridge trash unknown,” 12/6/2012)
Stafford, VA: Incinerator proposal stopped (Stafford Local, “Stafford Rescinds Vote on Waste-To-Energy Plant, Plan Goes Back to R-Board,” 8/13/2013)
Los Angeles, CA: city has quietly dropped plans for one to two new conventional waste incinerators proposed by Green Conversion Systems incinerator company.
In 2015 one new incinerator opened in the U.S., in Palm Beach, Florida. This opening was associated with the closure of the Broward incinerator listed above.
There are currently 77 incinerators operating in the U.S.
Links to news articles or organizations working on these projects have been included where possible. Efforts to construct new infrastructure facilities like incinerators are notoriously long lived. After a project has been blocked or stopped at a certain stage, proponents of such projects may declare that they will try again, which can make a proposal feel “live” even though it may not be involved in a permitting process, or if it has stalled for an extended period. In the case of the above examples, we link to news about serious setbacks for incinerator proposals, such as permits or contracts being ended by government agencies or companies declaring they will abandon an attempted project. If we become aware that a project is once again being actively pursued by a government or company, we will make a note of it above. Please write to us if you have more recent news amending any of the above items.