Although ideally any city trying to meet Action #4 of the Urban Environmental Accords wouldn’t be sending any waste to landfills or to incinerators, a councilman in Los Angeles figures that one out of two ain’t bad for now. Councilman Greig Smith would like to view “trash as a resource, not as a problem” and use it to create electricity.

One incinerator already in use is the City of Commerce incinerator. The plant charges $35 per ton of trash, burning 400 tons of it per day with a capacity of 10 megawatts.

A concern, of course, is the pollution from these stacks (exhaust gases and water vapor). However, the exhaust has to meet air quality standards, and 60 percent of the plant is devoted (whatever that means) to air quality while only 40 percent is built for electricity.