A Florida county plan of vaporizing garbage with a plasma torch is fading away. Budget and fear are behind the delays.
The initial proposal, scaled back by 80%, would have created the largest plasma arc gasification plant in the world. The county hoped to not only avoid further landfill, but completely empty their existing landfill — 3.9 million metric tons of waste collected since 1978 — within 18 years.
Something similar, albeit not of the same size, already operates in Japan, UK and Canada. The idea is to run inert gas through a high voltage electrical arc, reaching temperatures over 13,000 °C, and breaking down waste into basic gaseous elements. Sounds so good even the TreeHugger is sold on it.