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Wed August 17, 2011
Clean Air Advocates Say Burning Trash Causes Health Problems In Hartford
Clean air advocates say incinerating trash is bad for Hartford. But as, WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, the agency that burns the region's garbage says the advocates don't have the facts. The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority burns garbage from 70 municipalities and, in the process, creates electricity. But Claire Miller of the Toxics Action Center says that emissions from that process cause problems like asthma. She wants the authority to stop using one of its three Hartford boilers. "Burning trash is dangerous for our health." But Paul Nonnenmacher, the authority’s spokesman, says there’s no scientific study that links the emissions with health problems. He also says that shutting down a boiler isn’t realistic. The garbage, he says, has to go somewhere. “If we just shut down one of those boilers, you’ve got to take that garbage, and you’ve got to put it on tractor trailers and you would have all of the additional diesel emissions from trucking that garbage for hundreds of miles.” Nonnenmacher says most of what leaves the facility’s smokestack is water and carbon dioxide. For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.