Capitol Hill puts its waste to work

Summary:Capitol Hill will use the thousands of tons of trash it produces each year and turn it into electricity using waste-to-energy technology.

Capitol Hill will use the thousands of tons of trash it produces each year and turn it into electricity using waste-to-energy technology. The Architect of the Capitol (AoC) made the announcement today, The Hill's E2 Wire blog reported.

Waste-to-energy does what it's name indicates, although there are variations on the end product. Over at Capitol Hill, solid waste will be burned to create heat and produce steam, which is used to generate electricity.  Other processes -- such as the one Enerkem uses -- turns municipal solid waste, construction wood and agricultural residue into a gas that can be refined into ethanol.

According to the AoC, the waste-to-energy process will divert up to 90 percent of the Capitol campus's non-recyclable waste.  Earlier this summer, the AoC took over  -- and announced plans to expand -- the House's sustainability initiatives formerly conducted by the chief administration officer. The Green the Capitol program initiated by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also falls under the AoC's purview. Although that program, which included the introduction of compostable dishes,  has been dismantled by Republicans since winning the House majority. Styrofoam has since returned to the House's cafeterias.

[Via: The Hill's E2 Wire blog]

Photo: Flickr user D'Arcy Norman, CC 2.0

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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