We are constantly being aware of the crisis our planet is facing.
But with still so little being done to aid the situation.
So, we are asking for this blog to go global and be shared with the right people who can make a difference.
Could a simpler method of incineration be the solution to aid the waste-to-energy problem?
We’ve found some facts, figures, and statements to help persuade your thinking.
Waste combustion is particularly popular in countries such as Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands, where land is a scarce resource. Denmark and Sweden have been leaders by using the energy generated from incineration for more than a century, in localised #combined heat and power facilities supporting #district heating schemes. In 2005, waste incineration produced 4.8% of the electricity consumption and 13.7% of the total domestic heat consumption in Denmark. Several other European countries rely heavily on incineration for handling municipal waste, in particular #Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. (We just find this static awesome!)
In Europe, with the ban on landfilling untreated waste, scores of incinerators have been built in the last decade, with more under construction. Recently, several municipal governments have begun the process of contracting for the construction and operation of incinerators. In Europe, some of the electricity generated from waste is deemed to be from a 'Renewable Energy Source' (RES) and is thus eligible for tax credits if privately operated. Also, some incinerators in Europe are equipped with waste recovery, allowing the reuse of ferrous and non-ferrous materials found in landfills. A leading and famous example is the AEB Waste Fired Power Plant.
In Sweden, about 50% of the produced waste is burned in waste-to-energy facilities, generating electricity, and supplying local cities' district heating systems. The importance of waste in Sweden's electricity generation scheme is reflected in the,700,000 tons of waste imported per year (in 2014) to supply waste-to-energy facilities. (We couldn’t find a more updated statistic but even in 2014 that what was being achieved by Sweden is still way better than what most countries are achieving. Could we here in the #UK take their lead?)
The #U.K. Health Protection Agency concluded in 2009 that "Modern, well-managed incinerators make only a small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants. It is possible that such small additions could have an impact on health but such effects, if they exist, are likely to be very small and not detectable." (This is exactly where we would love to assist with the “modern, well managed” incinerators, let us know if we can help with your next project.)
But hang on that was 13 years ago – what’s being done now? The Government has a target for England to achieve 65% recycling for municipal solid waste by 2035 and no more than 10% landfill. As some residual waste is not combustible, the Government’s 65% recycling target implies that the rate of incineration should be no higher than a maximum of around 30%. However, in 2019/20, 45.5% of England’s local authority collected waste was incinerated. And yes, we are as shocked at that as you are, more needs to be done regarding recycling but we are here for the stuff that can’t be re-used. And actually, the stuff that gets burnt, what can be done to manage the waste to energy process. Can we take a lead from our European trendsetters? What about globally, who else could take the lead?
We here at #M and S Combustion are 100% in agreement with recycling and hate waste but come on some things just need to be burnt!
There are currently about 70 incinerators in the UK and 15 more proposed or in development, according to government data and data collected by the anti-incineration group UKWIN respectively. These include incinerators for municipal waste, medical waste, and waste wood. Like we said some things just need to be burnt, and if this is the best solution to get rid of a waste product why not then turn it into an energy resource?
Incineration plants can generate electricity and heat that can substitute power plants powered by other fuels at the regional electric and #district heating grid, and steam supply for industrial customers. Incinerators and other waste-to-energy plants generate at least partially biomass-based renewable energy that offsets greenhouse gas pollution from coal-, and oil- and gas-fired power plants. The E.U. considers energy generated from biogenic waste (waste with biological origin) by incinerators as non-fossil renewable energy under its emissions caps. These greenhouse gas reductions are in addition to those generated by the avoidance of landfill methane.
The bottom ash residue left behind after combustion is a non-hazardous solid waste that can be safely put into landfills or recycled as construction aggregate. Surely this is just another plus point?
Shall we continue with all our pro – incineration facts (I think this needs to be split over another blog!)
So, what we are proposing is just the opportunity to work with those who want to make a difference in how we deal with waste and follow the leaders of Europe.