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Committee Passes Waste-to-Energy Resolution

Turning local garbage into energy could be common sense solution for Alaska communities

JUNEAU – Today, the House Special Committee on Energy passed a resolution urging support for turning garbage into energy for Alaskan communities. According to the resolution (HCR 10), waste-to-energy technologies using municipal solid waste have been successfully used around the world and in at least 24 states in the United States to produce energy and reduce landfills.

“This technology can help communities across Alaska,” said Representative Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage) who introduced the legislation. “From Anchorage to the smallest villages, everyone produces garbage they need to get rid of, and everyone benefits from cheaper, local ways to generate power.”

Waste-to energy technology is already in use in Alaska. Eielson Air Force Base currently uses waste-to-energy technology, and the Municipality of Anchorage is scheduled to bring facilities online in May to harness natural gas from the Anchorage regional landfill to turn into electricity. That project will be fully operational by January 2013 and will produce enough power for the equivalent of 2,500 homes. 

Because the solid waste used to generate energy was already produced and used for purposes other than energy, waste-to-energy technology is generally considered to be a renewable source of energy.

“This technology kills two birds with one stone,” said Rep. Petersen. “It lowers pressure on community landfills and it provides a cheap, reliable source of power.”

The committee unanimously passed the resolution. 

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