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Waste Incineration

  • By: Frances Fahy
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Waste incineration is a waste disposal method that can be used to combust a range of materials classified as municipal solid wastes and hazardous wastes. Incinerators, sometimes referred to as thermal treatment plants, convert wastes into steam, gas, heat, or ash (those that produce a source of energy are often known as waste-to-energy plants). Waste incineration is a contentious and emotional issue. Geographers and other social scientists have explored many conflicts associated with waste incineration. Following a brief review of the history of waste incineration, some of the key conflicting issues are highlighted in this entry.

Waste incineration, or the systematic burning of waste, has been taking place for a little over a century. It is recorded that the first incinerator was established in the United ...

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