Projects and Publications


U.S. MSW Incinerators: An Industry in Decline

The report, “U.S. Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators: An Industry in Decline” analyzes the current state of decline in the incineration industry in the United States.

This report examines three major economic vulnerabilities in the MSW incinerator industry:

1. Construction and maintenance costs are significant and relatively more capital intensive compared to other forms of waste disposal.

2. The current pool of MSW incinerators have reached or are close to reaching their life-expectancy and now require another round of capital investment, often at the expense and risk of local taxpayers

3. The industry’s revenue streams are volatile, dependent on competitive tipping fees and access to the renewable energy markets.

To view an Interactive Map of MSW incinerators in the U.S., please click here.

To view GAIA’s website on incinerators, please click here.

For the press release, please click here.


Local Land Use Policy for Environmental Justice

Along with NRDC and commissioned by The Chicago Environmental Justice Network, which includes LVEJO, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, People for Community Recovery, lxchel and Blacks in Green.

The national scan compiles 40 policies from over 20 cities, three counties and two utility service areas across the U.S., categorizing the policies into six groups:

1. Bans on specific types of polluting facilities typically sited in environmental justice communities

2. Broad environmental justice policies that incorporate environmental justice goals and considerations into a range of municipal activities

3. Environmental review processes applied to new or expanded developments

4. Proactive planning targeted at future development to address environmental justice via comprehensive plans, overlay zones, or green zones

5. Targeted land use measures that address existing sources of pollution, like amortization policies

6. Enhanced public health codes that reach both existing and new sources of pollution that impact public health

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 11.03.45 AM.png

Design Justice and Zero Waste Conference

The Tishman Center and GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) hosted the conference Design, Justice & Zero Waste: Exploring Pathways to a Circular Economy May 8-9, 2018. To read more about the conference and research collaborative, click the button below.


Achieving Climate Justice Through Climate Mitigation

The Achieving Climate Justice Through Climate Mitigation Project is a research collaborative undertaken in partnership with three centers:

Tishman Environment & Design Center at The New School,

Center for Earth Energy and Democracy

Watson Institute for Urban Environmental Policy at Thomas Edison State University.

This partnership’s purpose is to enrich the empirical case for integrating environmental justice considerations into climate mitigation policies at the state and national level. Increasing attention is turning to the critical role that states can play in implementing climate mitigation strategies that can reduce the United States' contribution to climate change in lieu of federal action.

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 11.22.39 AM.png

The Gulf Coast Fund was created to resource, connect, and amplify the work of grassroots, community-based organizations from the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems. The Fund was led by an Advisory Group made up of community leaders engaged in work that addressed not only the effects of natural and human-made disasters in the region, but in social and environmental justice efforts that strengthened civil society in order to address the underlying inequality and ecological destruction that led to the severity of disasters in the Gulf Coast.