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Environment Maryland: Trash to energy to hurt recycling

ANNAPOLIS — An environmental group says the Maryland governor’s decision to sign a trash incineration bill will hurt recycling efforts.

Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday he will sign a bill that enhances incentives for waste-to-energy plants. Environmentalists urged him to veto the measure, which they say treats waste burning the same as wind and solar energy when it comes to meeting environmental goals.

Environment Maryland State Director Brad Heavner says incinerators are expensive and need to continuously operate to pay off loans, putting them in direct competition with recycling programs for waste to fuel the plants. Heavner says the state has a limited pool of credits for its renewable energy program, so credits given to incinerators will come at the expense of other renewable energy technologies like wind power and solar energy.