Key words: waste incineration, landfills, airborne emissions, air pollution Solid waste is a public health problem of great magnitude. Each year in the United States, approximately 150 million tons of waste are generated. More than 80% of this material is discarded by burial in landfills [EPA, 19861. Unfortunately, landfills are becoming filled. Many are already at capacity, while others will be forced to close because they violate environmental requirements. In New York State, 75% of existing landfills are in jeopardy of closure [New York State, 19871. Options for disposal other than landfilling are limited. Transport of waste overland to remote sites has been utilized, but it is expensive (up to $130 per ton in New York City) and will become more costly as landfill space continues to dwindle. Ocean dumping is used in coastal areas. However, ocean dumping was scheduled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to end in 1982; it continues today only under a court-ordered variance. Export of wastes overseas has become socially and politically unacceptable. In this crisis, incineration has been hailed widely as the solution to the problem of overloaded landfills. EPA estimates [I9861 are that a sixfold rise in the national capacity
American Journal of Industrial Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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