A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 June 1992
Newspaper reporters discover that 43,353 pounds of waste, classified as toxic by EPA was accepted and burned in four CT municipal waste incinerators in 1990 and that 24,779 pounds of classified toxic waste was burned in 1989. The Bridgeport Post reported in a three-part series that ran May 10-12, 1992, the results of a 5-month investigation that examined U.S. EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) records. Aside from the 4 Connecticut incinerators cited below, The Posts investigation also found that trash incinerators in Baltimore [Wheelabrator 2,250 tpd]; Peekskill, NY [Wheelabrator 2,250 tpd]; and Haverhill [Ogden Martin 1,650 tpd], Millbury [Wheelabrator 1,500 tpd], and North Andover [Wheelabrator 1,500 tpd], all in MA, have received toxic waste. The following is from The Posts 5-10-92 summary of toxic release inventory records at regional incinerators for 1990...All 4 incinerators - Grand Total 123,653 lbs.
OGDEN MARTINs 650 tpd mass-burn incinerator in Bristol.
Start up: March 1988.
Accepted a total of 4,860 lbs. of the following wastes in 1990:
1,100 lbs. chromium; 360 lbs. cobalt; 3,400 lbs. of nickel.
ABB Resource Recoverys 2,000 RDF incinerator in Hartford. Start up: October 1988.
Accepted a total of 80,605 lbs. of the following wastes in 1990:
59,040 lbs. chromium; 21,550 lbs. of nickel; 5 lbs. each of n-butyl alchohol, toluene, xylene.
OGDEN MARTINs 420 tpd mass-burn incinerator in Wallingford. Start up: May 1989.
Accepted a total of 1,700 lbs. of the the following wastes in 1990:
250 lbs. of anthracene; 200 lbs. of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate; 390 lbs. methyl methacrylate; 860 lbs. toluene.
If only clean waste with no toxic constituents was delivered
to solid waste disposal
facilities, there would be no need for multi-million dollar combustion controls,
pollution controls, monitoring systems, double-lined landfills and leachate
monitoring and collection systems.
William R. Darcy, President of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA), The Bridgeport Post, 5-12-92, pg. A12
Please note: Ash from all Connecticut incinerators go to unlined landfills.
May 10, 1992, report in The Bridgeport Post: Incinerator operators and state and federal regulators said the toxic chemicals, including more than three tons of lead and substantial amounts of mercury, were not among the materials rejected by the plants and might have been burned, but they are not sure. Environmental groups and public health officials said they were alarmed that plant operators and the regulatory agencies do not keep closer track of how much toxic waste is being burned. The state Department of Environmental Protection reviewed the federal records when questioned by The Post and determined that even if the toxic chemicals had been burned, the incinerators pollution-control equipment probably kept the emissions from endangering public health. While all sides agree toxic materials should be kept to a minimum in the municipal garbage that is incinerated, they also agree no one knows for sure how much industrial waste is being burned in Connecticuts garbage-to-energy plants. RESCO (Wheelabrator) and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA), the quasi-state agency that developed the $228 million plant in Bridgeport, said they cannot confirm that the wastes were burned. Rather, CRRA said the fact The Post was able to identify a total of only 43,353 pounds of questionable waste for 1990, compared to the estimated 1.65 million tons of waste incinerated each year in the state, proves to them that almost all state-generated hazardous and toxic waste is being properly handled...The 14 companies that burned toxic industrial waste at incinerators in Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford and Wallingford incorrectly shipped the waste to facilities not licensed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to receive such waste, said Dwight Peavey, a regional program administrator at the agencys Boston office...C.L. Pettit, a senior analyst with the National Solid Waste Management Association -which represents the waste industry- and David Nash, a director in the state Department of Environmental Protections waste bureau, suspect industrial toxic waste and possibly hazardous waste reaches trash incinerators. It happens, they say, because the companies are probably trying to save the cost of disposal. That expense could easily be two or three times higher at licensed hazardous waste disposal facilities...Around the nation, trash-to-energy plants similarly have become depositories for toxic chemical waste from industry, computerized tracking records from the federal EPA show. Trash incinerators in such communities as Baltimore; Peekskill, NY; and Haverhill, Millbury and North Andover, all in Massachusetts, have received toxic waste, the records show. The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1986 as part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, requires manufacturers to disclose releases of 330 toxic chemicals and compounds known to threaten public health and the environment. It is from these documents and interviews with company officials and regulators that The Bridgeport Post learned that such chemicals were being sent to Bridgeport RESCO and the other incinerators. These toxic chemicals may or may not be hazardous waste, but they do pose public health risks, said Dwight Peavey, the EPAs regional program director...
May 11, 1992, report in the The Bridgeport Post. ...Since Bridgeport RESCO began burning garbage in 1988, the CRRA has hauled about 600 tons of ash daily from the waste-to-energy plant to the old River Road landfill. The 170-foot high heap has been dubbed Mount Ashmore...CRRA and the state Department of Environmental Protection have repeatedly assured neighbors that the ash cannot harm the environment. But the CRRA and DEP said they did not know about U.S. Environmental Protection Agency records indicating that 14 Connecticut manufacturers shipped toxic industrial chemicals -including tons of lead - to Bridgeport RESCO and three of the states other municipal incinerators...RESCO officials, who keep track of industrial shipments they refuse to burn, said they had no record of turning away the substances listed in the EPA papers...Deputy DEP Commissioner Robert Moore said his agency expects that a certain amount of toxic chemicals will be burned in municipal incinerators. Municipal solid waste contains a significant industrial component, Moore said. Those are dealt with in terms of design of the pollution control equipment on both landfills and resource recovery facilities. The reasons for creating landfills with liners is not because of food waste and paper, but because of other components in the garbage, Moore said. But Connecticut does not yet have any landfills with liners, and the DEP has ruled that CRRA can dump incinerator ash in unlined landfills such as River Road until 1993...
May 12, 1992, report in The Bridgeport Post. To our knowledge, Connecticut burns more of its waste per capita than any other state in the nation, the non-profit Connecticut Fund for the Environment [CFE)] said in a report released this year...Connecticuts seven incinerators burned 1.8 million tons of garbage in 1990, or 62 percent of the states solid waste...If the DEP issues operating permits for new incinerators in Lisbon and Preston, [CFEs David Galt] warned, Connecticut will be burning 6,000 tons of garbage per day or 70 percent of its projected waste in the year 2010...
Copies of The Bridgeport Post articles, published May 10-11-12, 1992, are available for those who live within 150 miles of the paper @$4.50, further away @$5.25 (price quoted is for all 3 issues). Send check to The Bridgeport Post, Attention Back Copies, 410 State St, Bridgeport, CT 06604 (Tel: 203-333-0161).