Economic Benefits of Waste-to-Energy: Jobs Creation

Publish Date: 2012

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the SWANA Applied Research Foundation’s (ARF) Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Group identified the issue of documenting the economic development benefits that WTE systems provide to their communities in comparison to those which accrue to communities that rely on remote regional landfills for disposal of their non-recycled wastes.

The research topic was defined by the group as follows:

"WTE systems have the potential to strengthen local economic development initiatives by (1) providing high quality and high paying jobs that cannot be outsourced (2) providing businesses and industries with long-term economical waste management services (3) keeping waste management expenditures in the local community (4) using the recoverable energy from waste to provide base load renewable power to complement local alternative energy initiatives and (5) recovering additional recyclables from the ash residue to support local manufacturing and construction. What is the value of all of these economic development benefits - both at the micro and macroeconomic levels - and how might these systems be leveraged or adjusted to grow these benefits for the good of the communities they serve?"

Eight organizations have subscribed to the SWANA ARF’s WTE group in FY2012, each of which made a funding commitment to the conduct of collective applied research in the WTE area.1 A listing of the WTE Group subscribers.

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