Incineration is the disposal of waste through combustion. When waste is burned, trash is converted into ash, gas, and heat. The gas is cleansed of pollutants before it is released into the air, and the remaining solid waste and ash is sent to a landfill. This type of waste disposal does not eliminate the need for landfills, but reduces the volume of waste by 80-85% – it is especially valuable in areas with a shortage of available land. Incineration also provides the opportunity to harness the heat from the combustion in a process known as Waste to Energy, which provides an alternative to fossil fuels.


Learn More

EPA – A Citizen’s Guide to Incineration 

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine – Waste Incineration Overview

U.S. Department of Energy – Waste to Energy Overview

Lehigh Valley Resources

While the Lehigh Valley does not use municipal incinerators, a private Waste to Energy company, Sustainable Waste Solutions, services some private institutions and businesses such as Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, and Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania.




The information provided on the website does not in any way constitute an endorsement of any particular organization by the Lehigh Valley Sustainability Network.