A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 Dec. 1993 - Jan. 1994

A Review, by State, of Operating Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators.

The 10th of our 24-part series continues our review of waste-to-energy MSW incinerators, including references to Waste Not issues. Vendor/Operator from GAA’s 1993 edition. Type: M=Mass Burn; R=RDF. Tons-Per-Day is incinerator design capacity. APC = Air Pollution Controls: 1-ESP. 2-Baghouse. 3-Dry Scrubber. 4-NOx Control. 5-Wet Scrubber.


LOCATION O = OPERATOR Type APC On-Line 1988 1991 1993

KY - Franklin33 V: Cadoux. O: Monarch M None 1986 75 - -

ME - Auburn (old)34 V: CONSUMAT. O: City M 2 1981 200 - -

Auburn (new)35 V/O: American Energy Corp. M 2.3 1993 - - 200

Biddeford36 V: KTI R 2,3 1987 700 607 607

O: Maine Energy Recovery Co.

Orrington37 V: KTI O: ESOCO R 2,3 1988 1,100 1,100 1,100

Portland38 V: American Energy Corp. M 1,3 1988 500 500 500

O: Regional Waste Systems

MD - Baltimore39 V/O: WHEELABRATOR M 1 1985 2250 2250 2250

Harford Co.40 V: CONSUMAT O: ENSCO M 1 1988 360 360 360

MA - Agawam41 V: Fluor Daniel/Vicon; O:Fluor M 2,3 1988 360 360 360

Haverhill42 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN M 1,3 1989 - 1650 1650

Lawrence43 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN R 1 1985 900 900 900


(A) GAA’s 1988,91,93* editions list the Ames 200 RDF shredding operation. The RDF goes to the Ames Municipal Electric Utility.

(B) The Iowa Falls 100 tpd RDF shredding operation was listed in GAA’s 91 & 93 editions*. This is not an incinerator. The RDF is sold mainly to AGP in Eagle Grove, Iowa.

33. Franklin, Kentucky. The incinerator went on line in Sept 1990 and was permanently shutdown in April 1992. According to GAA: “Cadoux operations closed; air pollution control equipment inadequate. Monarch proposed retrofit (including adding air pollution control). Rejected when City issued no waste-to-energy resolution.” Ref GAA 1993, pp703-704*.


34. Auburn, Maine -- Old. The 9 year old Consumat incinerator was run into the ground by poor operation and maintenance. According to the Director of the State’s Dept. of Environmental Protection, David Dixon: “The plant, one of the state’s worst energy recovery centers in terms of environmental and potential public health impact, would probably be shut down by the agency if rehabilitation plans fell through. [They did, Ed.] ‘Right now emissions are basically uncontrolled,’ he said. ‘It’s dismal. It’s as bad as it can be.’” (Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb 25, 1988, Maine). This incinerator was razed in 1990. See also WOW Video # 1, Auburn, Maine, Incinerator, 45 minutes, produced in 1985, available from Video-Active Productions, Rt 2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797. For more information contact Persis Grover, HCR 33, Box 300, Danville, ME 04223. Tel: 207-784-3889. See also WN# 90.

35. Auburn, Maine -- New. Operation of this 6-month old incinerator has been making headlines in the local paper, the Lewiston Sun. Called the “Mid-Maine Waste Action Corporation,” the incinerator, according to Persis Grover: is losing several hundred thousand dollars each month; undergoing unanticipated repairs; talk of cities breaking their contract. According to GAA: “Having trouble getting sufficient quantities of MSW. May lower tipping fee for communities not belonging to Corporation to attract additional wastes to plant during early days of operation.” Ref GAA 1993, p 323-324*. For more information contact Persis Grover, HCR 33, Box 300, Danville, ME 04223. Tel: 207-784-3889.

36. Biddeford, Maine. Burns “RDF, wood chips, natural gas & oil...Significant rise in tipping fee covered financial problems. Arbitrators ordered GE (designer/builder & original operator) to pay Maine Energy Recovery Company $11.5 million in damages. Retrofitted processing line, boiler tubes & ventilation system.” Ref GAA 1993, p 326*. This incinerator has been plagued with explosions, odor, noise and financial problems. The only incinerator we know where a city enacted a “violation-free odor zone” because of the continuing odor problems. Three incidents of “catastrophic failures” of the incinerator’s baghouse system occurred in the Fall of 1988. According to the State’s toxicologist, Robert Frakes: “Based on the information provided by the DEP [Maine Department of Environmental Protection] and on our calculations, it appears that certain subgroups of the population may have been exposed to unacceptable levels of lead and, to a lesser extent, dioxin.’ Specifically: A young child who ate a large amount of ash may have received a dose greater than that which is considered safe...Youngsters who ate an average amount of ash and a small amount of homegrown vegetables each day may have significantly increased their normal exposure to lead. Pregnant women who ate a large amount of homegrown vegetables daily may have received doses of lead and dioxin which exceed safe levels. The likelihood of toxic exposure depends on how well the vegetables were washed...”--[March 31, 1989, State of Maine DEP, Press Information.] It was stated in this press release that measures were taken that would “practically eliminate the possibility of a recurrence of last fall’s events.” Yet, on May 1, 1989, another “ash shower” occurred. In July 1989 the State fined KTI, the incinerator operators, $300,000 “for a history of lax operation symbolized by the periodic ash showers that blanketed the city last year...The fine was the stiffest ever levied for pollution in Maine.”-Maine Journal Tribune, July 7, 1989, front page. For more information contact John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Maine’s People’s Alliance, 359 Main St., Bangor,ME 04401.Tel:207-990-0672. See WN#s 19,21,59,62,79,142,203.

37. Orrington, Maine. This RDF incinerator “burns wood chips, RDF & shredded tires. ESOCO Orrington (non-regulated utility subsidiary of Energy National, part of Pacific Corp.) took over operations from General Electric on June 30, 1989.” Ref GAA 1993, p 327-328*. General Electric was the project manager/engineer/designer,operator. For more information contact John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Maine People’s Alliance, --see address/tel# above.

38. Portland, Maine. For more information contact Maine People’s Alliance in Portland, Tel: 207-761-4400.


GAA listed the 1200 tpd shredding operation in Cockeysville [Vendor/Designer/Builder: National Ecology] as a RDF Shredding operation. We telephoned this facility on 1-4-94 and were told by the receptionist that the plant manager could not speak to us because he was in a meeting. She noted that they were experiencing a “big problem” and “emergency” at the time we called. According to GAA’s 1993 edition: “Lost utility customer for RDF in 1989; one of Baltimore Gas & Electric’s boilers was damaged.” Ref GAA 1993, p 334*.

39. Baltimore, Maryland. “State St. Bank took over ownership from Ford Motor Credit Company. Wheelabrator proposed plant expansion...However, 5-year City incinerator moratorium ended such plans.” Ref GAA 1993, p 332*. For more information see WN#s 73,211. See also Rush to Burn, published by Island Press, 1989.

40. Harford County, Maryland. Located in Joppa, the incinerator site is immediately adjacent the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The Proving Grounds extends out to the Chesapeake Bay. According to GAA: “Plant also burns tires (approximately 5,000 tons/year). Consumat no longer operates facility...” GAA 1993, p 338*.


41. Agawam, Massachusetts. In 1991 citizens took the initiative to test hair samples, for heavy metals, of five children who live within a mile of the incinerator. Test results: very high levels of aluminum; high lead and cadmium; and traces of mercury. The incinerator is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, and the ash is dumped at the landfill, located at the confluence of the Chicopee and Connecticut Rivers, and across the street from the incinerator. The ash landfill was built on top of the old raw garbage landfill, and current evaluations say there is only 8 more years of available dumping space. The ‘horrendous smell’ that emanates from the landfill, which wafts into the business district of the city of Springfield, is attributed to the sewer sludge dumped at the landfill. Even in the winter, on a damp day with a low pressure system, there is a terrible smell in the city. In 1991, Charlie Spencer produced an excellent 29 minute video, American Waste, which discusses the results of the tests on the children’s hair samples for heavy metals. Aside from the drama of heavy metal contamination, the video does a masterful job reviewing the waste issue, both the problems and alternatives. Waste Not editors highly recommend that communities ask their local cable companies to run this video which is available for free to your local cable company if they request it from: Mr. Jerry Barnes, Exec. Dir, Springfield Cable Endowment, 31 Elm Street, Suite 231, Springfield, MA 01103. Tel: 413-733-0121. The video is also available for $25, as is more information on the incinerator, from Charlie Spencer, 107 Jensen Circle, West Springfield, MA 01089. Tel: 413-737-7600.. See also WN # 168.

42. Haverhill, Massachusetts. Residents who live downwind of the incinerator complain of offensive odors (winter and summer) and noise. The towns that have put-or-pay contracts are not sending enough waste. The ash landfill, adjacent to the incinerator, abuts the Merrimac River, and accepts ash from Ogden’s Lawrence incinerator. The residents of Haverhill did everything democratically possible to stop Ogden Martin from building. On Nov 4, 1987, they voted 10,030 to 4,181 in a non-binding resolution against building the incinerator. In the same election voters, by 2-1, elected a new anti-incinerator mayor. For more information see WN#s 24,25,26,57.

43. Lawrence, Massachusetts. Ogden Martin took over the incinerator from the bankrupt Refuse Fuels Inc. in December 1986. Ogden is proposing to close this incinerator and hopes to build a new one. The incinerator has a history of problems and significant problems with odors. For more information see WN#s 23,28.

*1993-1994 Resource Recovery Yearbook, Directory & Guide, by Eileen Berenyi, Ph.D. and Robert N. Gould, 718 pages, published by Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc. (a private consulting/research group), 177 East 87th Street, NY,NY 10128.

WASTE NOT # 260. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.