A request to burn trash in order to make electricity, and to have the electricity count towards Arizona's renewable energy goals, was passed by the Arizona Corporation Commission on July 18, the Arizona Republic reports.
According to the news source, Mohave Electric made the request so that it could meet the commission's renewable energy requirements, which state that by 2025, utilities need to receive 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
The small company based out of northwestern Arizona asked for the right to burn trash because the incinerator it would use was not on the approved list of energy sources that counted as renewable, the media outlet stated.
According to the news provider, the decision has environmentalists and other renewable energy providers upset, saying that Mohave will spend the tariff money that it collects on the trash program rather than the better renewable sources of wind and solar.
"Municipal solid waste should not be considered a renewable resource and should not qualify for credits under Arizona's renewable-energy standard," Sandy Bahr, director for the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon chapter, told the Republic.
According the Energy Recovery Council, waste-to-energy plants meet the most stringent environmental standards, despite the negative attention the process has received.