The Toxic Merry-Go-Round – Burning Air Pollution Control Filters


In the latest version of the toxic merry-go-round, the incinerator company Wheelabrator admitted that it routinely burns its air pollution control filters loaded with toxic chemicals with its incoming trash. These are the baghouse filters that capture dust particles generated by the burning process and are packed with heavy metals, like lead and cadmium, and dioxins, one of the most toxic chemicals ever tested.

Public hearings were held this summer when 31 local residents appealed the state’s decision to extent the permit for the Wheelabrator trash incinerator in Claremont, NH. During the hearings, Work on Waste (WOW), a local community-based group that has been fighting to shut down the incinerator since it opened 27 years ago, stated that Wheelabrator’s permit violations included burning nearly 12,500 filters between 1995 and 2010. During this time Wheelabrator applied for a permit renewal, but failed to mention that they were burning the filter bags. Wheelabrator’s defense is that burning the filters is a common practice in the incineration industry. Read more >