Lawmakers have put the breaks on legislation that could put trash incineration on the table at the Central Landfill. A committee voted to hold the bill for further study. The bill would remove language in a law that bans the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation from including incineration in its statewide trash management plan. It would also remove any references to the high costs of incineration. This is the latest attempt to remove a ban on trash incineration.
Sarah Kite, the landfill’s director of recycling services, said time is running out with the end of the landfill’s life less than 25 years away. Kite said the state should consider every option to extend the life of the landfill.
“Give us the ability to include something like that in the plan. Even if it’s in the plan, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be implemented immediately,” said Kite. She said the Resource Recovery Corporation wants to, "simply be able to evaluate all the potential tools and have all the tools in the toolbox, should we need them.”
But environmental advocates say that reasoning doesn’t pass muster, according to Meg Kerr, director of Clean Water Action Rhode Island. There's nothing stopping the landfill agency from discussing incineration as an option.
“They can think about it. They can do studies. They can research it. And they have been doing that,” said Kerr.
Kerr said environmental advocates believe an incinerator would undermine efforts to recycle and compost.
Note: This post has been updated.
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