Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/14/22  12:38 pm
Commenter: Michael Davoli

Trash incinerators, solar panels, prohibit plastic bags and bottles

We should be investing in and utilizing trash incinerators to both dramatically reduce the amount of waste that is currently entering landfills, and to generate a significant amount of electricity. Done properly in an abundance of Oxygen at sufficiently high temperatures, the resulting exhaust should be only Carbon Dioxide and Water. There are now very effective "scrubbers" to remove many of the other combustion products including heavy metals. Trash incinerators both lower the cost of electricity and reduce the amount of trash going into landfills:
Incinerating waste should have the added benefit of lowering the cost of living for Virginians (Goal #1).
In addition, Methane gas is a by-product of the decomposition of organic matter in landfills. Methane, though shorter lived in the atmosphere is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide:
By reducing the amount of waste going into landfills, we dramatically reduce the amount of Methane going into the atmosphere.

We should be installing solar panels above light rail, rail stations and possibly other railroad tracks. The land is already being used, so we aren't taking away from farmland. As well, the electricity would be being used in the place that it is generated; this reduces losses due to transmission. This might have the added benefit of keeping the trains cooler in the summer as they are in the shade; however, it might also allow ice to remain on the rails. Regardless, these solar panels will generate electricity for at least 30 years. Installing solar panels will also further Goals #1 and #2 (Job creation).

Another goal ought to be to remove the amount of plastic in our waste stream. Prohibiting the use of plastic grocery bags as well as plastic bottles ought to be a goal. These never get recycled to any meaningful degree - just prohibit their sale and we don't have to expend a lot of energy dealing with the plastic. In addition, we will reduce the microplastics in the environment. Long before we had plastic bottles we had glass bottles - there's no reason we shouldn't go back to glass bottles.

CommentID: 128633