Thursday, September 25, 2008

What’s That Smell? Burning Trash Isn’t Clean Fuel

By Debra Fastino and Lee Ketelsen

It’s commonly known that burning anything isn’t good for the environment, because whatever you incinerate doesn’t actually disappear. Wafting through the air, pollutants often become even greater health hazards. That is why Massachusetts took great strides toward a cleaner environment when it imposed a moratorium on new incinerators in 1989. The state made the right decision to emphasize recycling and waste reduction, which is far better for the environment and the economy than burning garbage.

The policy still makes sense today, considering what we know about climate change and the need for clean energy. However, Governor Patrick’s administration is now looking into lifting the ban on new incinerators. Such a move would tarnish our state's efforts to clean up the environment with clouds of toxic smoke.