Whether a given waste-to-energy (WTE) facility is publicly or privately owned and/or operated, and notwithstanding the pluses or minuses of any given Service Agreement or Operations Contract, the public sector can derive great benefit if it establishes a solid understanding of and maintains active oversight role in the technical, financial, and environmental issues associated with WTE project operations. Experience has shown that public sector clients who remain in close touch with the day-to-day operations of these capital intensive operations from the outset also retain a greater measure of influence over the inner workings, as well as the exterior/aesthetic appearances of these capital-intensive waste-processing and disposal facilities. While all parties strive for environmentally sound and safe operations, private sector operators must be concerned with profitability and/or maintaining shareholder value while the public sector entity is more typically focused on ensuring the facility provides reliable disposal services for a heterogeneous wastestream that changes over time, remains a “good corporate neighbor,” and does this at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers and other facility users.

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