Protesters Trash Bloomberg's Plan for Waste-to-Energy Plant

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About two dozen activists on Monday protested Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to bring waste-to-energy plants that would generate energy from burning trash to New York City.

A coalition of community groups gathered outside the Manhattan offices of the Economic Development Corporation as city officials met with representatives from companies interested in building a waste-to-energy facility.

The city issued a request for proposals this past March, and is considering a site on Staten Island for a pilot program.

Critics of the plan fear that such facilities would have adverse environmental effects on the surrounding community. They are also concerned that future sites could end up next to poor communities.

“We can’t take one more environmental burden in these communities that already have skyrocketing asthma rates and other public health problems,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

Mayor Michael Bloomberg backs the plan and asked opponents to hold off on their criticisms.

“The knee-jerk reaction of ‘We’re not going to do anything,’ we just can’t afford that,” he said Monday.

The City Council voted in 2006 to look into emerging waste-to-energy technology as part of the city’s Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, technology Bloomberg said other cities are using to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

Bloomberg and other city officials say that the different waste treatment technologies available today could ultimately benefit the entire city.