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.