The trash incineration industry in the U.S., as a whole, does not have a disproportionate impact by economic class, but has a strong environmental racism trend. While 67% of the nation’s 68 remaining trash incinerators are located in majority white communities, the industry has a strong and disproportionate impact on people of color because the largest and dirtiest are located in majority BIPOC communities that tend to be more populated. Fifteen of the 20 largest trash incinerators (75%) are located in such communities.
The environmental racism trend in this industry is found not by looking at how many incinerators are in communities of color, but when factoring in the number of impacted people living near them or the size of the incinerators. The 17 incinerators that are 2,000 tons per day (tpd) or greater have more capacity than the 51 incinerators that are under 2,000 tpd combined. On average, trash incinerators in majority BIPOC communities are surrounded by 2.5 times as many people and are twice as large as those in majority white communities: 27 facilities averaging 1,850 tons/day vs. 41 facilities averaging 909 tons/day.