FUELS: Garbage Power

Every day, every American throws away an average of nearly six pounds of trash. Most goes to dumps and landfill projects, which gobble up land, or to incinerators, which can pollute the air. But now refuse is being reappraised as a possible Cinderella fuel. Cheap and almost limitless, as municipalities know only too well, it consists mainly of paper, plastic and organic matter that when burned, releases about 50% of the heat value of coal.

Experimental facilities to tap garbage power are being planned from Milwaukee to Miami to Saugus, Mass. In Nashville, Tenn., steam created by burning...

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