May 14, 1994
When the Baltimore City Council imposed a five-year moratorium on further incinerator construction, few could have anticipated that the emotionally charged issue would be revived so soon. But here is the City Council -- just two years later -- again pondering the explosive question.The reason is a proposal by the aging Pulaski incinerator's owner, Willard Hackerman. He wants to replace the East Baltimore facility's five polluting furnaces with a new $300 million waste-to-energy plant at no cost to the city.
February 19, 1992
Environmental groups have argued that emissions and ash from a proposed municipal trash incinerator in Montgomery County would pose a health and environmental hazard.A hearing began in Rockville yesterday on whether the waste-to-energy facility should be built in rural Dickerson.Attorneys for the Audubon Naturalist Society and for two citizens' groups, including the Sugarloaf Citizens Association, are challenging the state's decision to allow the 1,800-ton-a-day facility be built.Lawyers for the county, for the Maryland Department of the Environment and for the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority countered that local and state officials had decided properly that risks to the public from the incinerator were not significant.
May 4, 1994
Local environmentalists and Anne Arundel County officials are in sharp disagreement over the possible impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires municipal incinerator operators to test the resulting ash for hazardous materials.The environmentalists say county officials could be forced to abandon consideration of a municipal incinerator. County officials and representatives of the incinerator industry say the ruling won't change a thing.Under the ruling, ash containing high levels of toxic materials, such as lead, cadmium or mercury must be sent to a hazardous waste dump at a cost higher than $400 a ton, about eight times the cost at a regular landfill.
March 30, 1992
Incinerators and recycling have been part of the American waste-management system since the late 1800s. The nation's first garbage incinerator was built on Governor's Island in New York in 1885. The nation's first rubbish-sorting plant for recycling was organized in New York City in 1898. Not until 1930 did New York City and Fresno, Calif., experiment with sanitary landfill technology.This time line provides some perspective on Baltimore City's current debate over incinerators. Not only is burning garbage an essential element of any comprehensive waste management system, it is one of its cornerstones.
June 14, 1994
In a surprise maneuver that drew cheers from environmental activists, the City Council effectively halted last night any chance of a speedy decision on a proposal to replace the polluting Pulaski Highway incinerator with a state-of-the-art plant.A narrow majority of the council voted to indefinitely delay a public hearing on lifting a citywide moratorium on incinerator construction after Councilman Wilbur E. "Bill" Cunningham rose to announce the meeting would be held tonight."Councilman Cunningham, I would say that one day's notice is hardly good to citizens," Council President Mary Pat Clarke said.
March 28, 1992
Just as Baltimore City residents are trying to grow accustomed to a system that has reduced two weekly general garbage collections to one plus a pickup of recyclables, the city's incinerator dilemma is coming to a head.Newly elected Councilman Perry Sfikas has introduced a bill that would impose a five-year moratorium on incinerators within Baltimore City. Meanwhile, businessman Willard Hackerman wants to sell the aging Pulaski incinerator to a Texas firm, which would construct an even bigger, $200 million facility there to burn trash.