Think Coal Ash for “America Recycles Day”
November 15 is “America Recycles Day” and what better occasion to remember the environmental benefits of recycling coal ash.
More than 50 million tons of coal ash are safely recycled every year in a wide variety of uses and products. Recycling coal ash keeps it out of landfills and disposal ponds where it can cause problems.
Despite what you may read about coal-fueled power plants shutting down, coal remains the largest energy source used to generate electricity. Generating that much electricity from coal produces large volumes of ash — solid materials left over from the combustion process.
There are many good reasons to view coal ash as a resource, rather than a waste. Recycling it conserves natural resources and saves energy. In some cases, products made with coal ash perform better than products made without it. For instance, coal ash makes concrete stronger and more durable. It also reduces the need to manufacture cement, resulting in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. More than 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are avoided every year by using coal ash to replace cement.
You can learn more about the many types of coal ash recycling by viewing this informative brochure from the American Coal Ash Association.