A device or facility designed for the incineration (burning) of a substance, most often municipal solid waste (garbage). The systematic use of incinerators was first done in Britain in the 19th century due to increasing waste and spread of disease. Today, German and Swiss technology dominates the world's incinerator plants. Modern waste incinerators use the heat that they produce from the burning to generate electricity and hot water. They are popular in densely populated areas where there is no room available to put trash in landfills. Some concerns with incinerators include the production of dioxins, which are highly toxic. Many environmentalists believe that incinerators have no place in modern society. Others believe that they are important because we cannot recycle all waste and that properly operated incinerators are quite safe.
In countries such as The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark, most waste is recycled. Whatever is left over is sent to advanced incinerators where heat and electricity is produced.
by nethawk March 01, 2005