General resources against incineration:
U.S. Trash Incinerator Maps
Fluidized Bed Combustors (FBCs)
Incinerators-in-Disguise (Gasification / Plasma / Pyrolysis):
Cellulosic Ethanol, Fischer-Tropsch Coal-to-Liquids, Thermal Depolymerization and Waste-to-Fuels:
Biomass and Landfill gas:
The industry tries hard to pretend that plasma, gasification and pyrolysis are not forms of incineration. However, the European Union and the United States have defined all these technologies as forms of incineration (emphasis added).
The European Union defines incinerators as follows:
‘incineration plant’ means any stationary or mobile technical unit and equipment dedicated to the thermal treatment of wastes with or without recovery of the combustion heat generated. This includes the incineration by oxidation of waste as well as other thermal treatment processes such as pyrolysis, gasification or plasma processes in so far as the substances resulting from the treatment are subsequently incinerated.
This definition covers the site and the entire incineration plant including all incineration lines, waste reception, storage, on site pretreatment facilities, waste-fuel and air-supply systems, boiler, facilities for the treatment of exhaust gases, on-site facilities for treatment or storage of residues and waste water, stack, devices and systems for controlling incineration operations, recording and monitoring incineration conditions;
‘co-incineration plant’ means any stationary or mobile plant whose main purpose is the generation of energy or production of material products and: — which uses wastes as a regular or additional fuel; or — in which waste is thermally treated for the purpose of disposal.
For more info on the EU's Waste Incineration Directive, see the UK Environment Agency's website on waste incineration.
In the United States, the definition of "municipal waste combustor" (trash incinerator) includes gasification and pyrolysis:
In Feb 11, 1991, U.S. EPA published regulations in the Federal Register (56 FR 5488) that state:
Municipal waste combustor or MWC or MWC unit means any device that combusts, solid, liquid, or gasified MSW including, but not limited to, field-erected incinerators (with or without heat recovery), modular incinerators (starved air or excess air), boilers (i.e., steam generating units), furnaces (whether suspension-fired, grate-fired, mass-fired, or fluidized bed-fired) and gasification/combustion units. This does not include combustion units, engines, or other devices that combust landfill gases collected by landfill gas collection systems.
[MSW = Municipal Solid Waste (household and commercial trash)]
This regulation (40 CFR 60.51a) was later revised on Dec. 19, 1995 to include pyrolysis, making gasification part of a new pyrolysis definition:
Municipal waste combustor, MWC, or municipal waste combustor unit: (1) Means any setting or equipment that combusts solid, liquid, or gasified MSW including, but not limited to, field-erected incinerators (with or without heat recovery), modular incinerators (starved-air or excess-air), boilers (i.e., steam-generating units), furnaces (whether suspension-fired, grate-fired, mass-fired, air curtain incinerators, or fluidized bed-fired), and pyrolysis/combustion units. Municipal waste combustors do not include pyrolysis/combustion units located at plastics/ rubber recycling units (as specified in § 60.50a(k) of this section). Municipal waste combustors do not include internal combustion engines, gas turbines, or other combustion devices that combust landfill gases collected by landfill gas collection systems.
Pyrolysis/combustion unit means a unit that produces gases, liquids, or solids through the heating of MSW, and the gases, liquids, or solids produced are combusted and emissions vented to the atmosphere.
If there is any doubt that a "municipal waste combustor" is an incinerator, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency clearly states that they're the same thing: "A municipal waste incinerator 'combusts' solid waste and thus is functionally synonymous with municipal waste combustor." See: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/nsr/gen/rm_2.html
Regarding landfill gas burners: while not regulated as "municipal waste combustors," landfill gas burners have also been referred to as incinerators by those in the industry, the trade press, county waste facility managers, and the federal government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Also, U.S. EPA Hazardous Waste Regulations (40 CFR 260.10) also state that plasma arc is an incineration technology:
Incinerator means any enclosed device that:
(1) Uses controlled flame combustion and neither meets the criteria for classification as a boiler, sludge dryer, or carbon regeneration unit, nor is listed as an industrial furnace; or
(2) Meets the definition of infrared incinerator or plasma arc incinerator.
Infrared incinerator means any enclosed device that uses electric powered resistance heaters as a source of radiant heat followed by an afterburner using controlled flame combustion and which is not listed as an industrial furnace.
Plasma arc incinerator means any enclosed device using a high intensity electrical discharge or arc as a source of heat followed by an afterburner using controlled flame combustion and which is not listed as an industrial furnace.
Industrial furnace means any of the following enclosed devices that are integral components of manufacturing processes and that use thermal treatment to accomplish recovery of materials or energy:
(i) The design and use of the device primarily to accomplish recovery of material products;
(ii) The use of the device to burn or reduce raw materials to make a material product;
(iii) The use of the device to burn or reduce secondary materials as effective substitutes for raw materials, in processes using raw materials as principal feedstocks;
(iv) The use of the device to burn or reduce secondary materials as ingredients in an industrial process to make a material product;
(v) The use of the device in common industrial practice to produce a material product; and
(vi) Other factors, as appropriate.
(1) Cement kilns
(2) Lime kilns
(3) Aggregate kilns
(4) Phosphate kilns
(5) Coke ovens
(6) Blast furnaces
(7) Smelting, melting and refining furnaces (including pyrometallurgical devices such as cupolas, reverberator furnaces, sintering machine, roasters, and foundry furnaces)
(8) Titanium dioxide chloride process oxidation reactors
(9) Methane reforming furnaces
(10) Pulping liquor recovery furnaces
(11) Combustion devices used in the recovery of sulfur values from spent sulfuric acid
(12) Halogen acid furnaces (HAFs) for the production of acid from halogenated hazardous waste generated by chemical production facilities where the furnace is located on the site of a chemical production facility, the acid product has a halogen acid content of at least 3%, the acid product is used in a manufacturing process, and, except for hazardous waste burned as fuel, hazardous waste fed to the furnace has a minimum halogen content of 20% as-generated.
(13) Such other devices as the Administrator may, after notice and comment, add to this list on the basis of one or more of the following factors: