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Waste to Energy

European Commission keeps wasting energy on “waste-to-energy”

http://www.zerowasteeurope.eu/2016/02/20780/

In December 2015, the European Commission launched the Circular Economy Package, which aims to bring a major shift in waste management, product and process design policies and consumption patterns that minimize the landfill and incineration of waste. Less than two months after, on Thursday February 4, the European Commission presented the Roadmap for the Communication on Waste to Energy, which sets the scope and terms for the Communication on waste-to-energy that will be published later on in 2016. As we read through it, this roadmap is a worrying step on four counts.

Firstly, the European Commission refers in this roadmap to non-recyclable waste as the perfect feed for an incinerator. However, no definition of non-recyclable waste can be found in the Waste Framework Directive or in the new proposal. The Commission mixes up non-recyclable waste with mixed waste, and while it’s true that mixed waste can’t be easily recycled, these are two different things.

While mixed waste is a problem of separate collection; non-recyclable waste is mostly a problem of product design. If properly separated, there’s no non-recyclable waste only non-recyclable materials and the solution to them isn’t burning, but re-design to make them fit into the circular economy.

Secondly, this road-map especially worrying because it ignores the role of civil society and local governments, as the Commission aims at consulting only Member States’ regulators, “waste-to-energy” plant operators, RDF producers, the recycling industry and other waste burning industries (chiefly cement kilns). Neither municipalities, nor NGOs are included in the list, despite the fact that waste incineration remains highly contested from NGOs to local neighbourhood associations and resident groups, citing a wide range of concerns from health and environmental issues to financial problems.

Moreover, it is worrying because it doesn’t include a clear roadmap on how to tackle existing over-capacities and, actually pushes for more inflexible facilities requiring long-time investment, such as district heating. It ignores that in a circular economy, disposal facilities should instead be flexible, allowing waste managers to adapt progressively to higher recycling rates and lower levels of waste production. Linking houses’ heating system to residual waste generation through very expensive long-term facilities isn’t the best incentive to promote reduction, reuse and recycling

Finally, granting so called “waste-to-energy” a role of within the Energy Union, is everything but doing a favour for the climate, since “waste-to-energy” is one of the most polluting, expensive, and inefficient forms of energy production available today. Burning waste will not contribute to secure energy supply, nor to the promotion of clean renewable energy to secure the reduction of our carbon footprint and the mitigation of climate change

Unfortunately this isn’t a systemic change, just more of the same.

OWTFHoddesdon-vs-HKG

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Chinese waste-to-energy plant will be a mile in circumference

http://www.dezeen.com/2016/02/04/worlds-largest-waste-to-energy-plant-shenzhen-china-schmidt-hammer-lassen-gottlieb-paludan/

shenzhen-incinerate-energy

On the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, a fast-growing megacity in China, the largest waste-to-energy plant in the world is on the horizon.

You can bet that this disk-shaped trash-burning plant isn’t going to do any wonders for China’s notoriously bad air quality. It’s projected to burn 5,500 tons of trash per day — one-third of the waste Shenzhen produces. But the alternative isn’t very pretty, either. Fast Company reports:

In China, most waste currently goes to landfills or illegal dumps — piles of trash so huge that they can actually be dangerous, like the landfill in Shenzhen that collapsed in December and killed dozens of people nearby. It’s a space problem, but also a climate problem, because landfills emit potent greenhouse gases as garbage rots away.

Incinerating trash also pollutes, but a state-of-the-art plant like the one planned for Shenzhen can dramatically reduce pollution compared to a city dump. “Burning waste naturally creates pollutants, mainly carbon dioxide — something in the region of one metric ton of CO2 per metric ton of waste,” says [architect Chris] Hardie. “This does not sound great for sure, but when you compare it to putting the waste to landfill, one metric ton of waste will ultimately produce somewhere in the region of 60 cubic meters of methane as it decomposes — and this has more than twice the negative effect on global warming.”

The Chinese government plans to build 300 waste-to-energy plants in the next three years to combat the country’s growing waste problem.

This particular incinerator-to-be is designed by the Danes. As you might expect from those same folks who are shaming the rest of the world in wind power, the Shenzhen plant has a green twist.

The design features a pedestrian path that winds along its one-mile circumference and a roof covered in 44,000 square meters of solar panels.

We’re hoping that the location is far enough from civilization to avoid displacing Shenzhen’s citizens. (After all, this is coming from the same country that just decided to displace 9,000 people to build a huge, alien-detecting telescope.)

When the plant opens in 2020, Shenzhen’s citizens will be among the few people in the world who could reasonably say, “Hey, wanna take a lap around the incinerator?” And according to the image below, those visitors are going to have a grand time admiring the wonder that is incineration.

Here’s what the inside of the plant may look like. SHL Architects

Here’s what the inside of the plant may look like. SHL Architects

World’s first waste incinerator with carbon-capture tech

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2016/jan/carbon-capture-waste-incinerator.cfm

Carbon-capture technology has been deployed for the first time as part of a waste incinerator in Norway’s capital Oslo.

The experiment at the Klemetsrud incinerator will remove climate-warming carbon dioxide from fumes created by burning industrial and household waste. If successful, the technology could represent a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions if deployed on a larger scale.

“I hope Oslo can show other cities that it’s possible,” said the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, at an opening ceremony.

So far, carbon capture and storage technology has been experimented with in some fossil-fuel-fired power plants, but development has been hindered by high cost.

The Klemetsrud waste-to-energy incinerator, which generates heat to warm buildings in the city, produces 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – about 0.6 per cent of Norway’s man-made emissions.

The experimental carbon capture and storage removal system consists of five containers with a series of pipes and filters through which the exhaust gas is fed. It captures carbon dioxide at a rate of about 2,000 tonnes a year.

The experiment will run until the end of April. If the results are positive, a full-scale system could be built by 2020. Operators of the system say the carbon dioxide captured could be shipped to the North Sea and used for enhanced oil and gas recovery.

“We see potential in this market across the world,” said Valborg Lundegaard, head of Aker Solutions’ engineering business, which runs the test.

The operators have admitted that at the current price of carbon credits, the technology is nowhere near cost-effective. However, they claim that as the incinerator burns largely organic waste from food and wood, it actually removes CO2 from the natural cycle and not only that industrially produced.

“It won’t be possible to achieve goals set in the Paris agreement without wide use of negative emissions,” said Frederic Hauge, head of environmental group Bellona.

Development of new technologies capable of offsetting the devastating effects of rising temperatures globally was also in the heart of the UN climate talks in Paris in December.

Earlier this week, climate scientists confirmed that 2015 was by far the warmest year on record – another extremely hot year in a string that started at the beginning of the 21st century. There is no doubt, the scientists said, that the situation is getting worse and is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite its potential, carbon capture and storage is still on the fringe. A 2015 report by the Australia-based Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute said there are just 15 big CCS projects in operation worldwide, including a coal-fired power plant run by Canada’s Saskatchewan Power.

CTA Letter to Legco on Hong Kong Waste Management

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Australia firm plans $520mln waste-to-energy plant in HCMC

http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/australia-firm-plans-520mln-wastetoenergy-plant-in-hcmc-57939.html

Australia’s Trisun Green Energy Co. has sought the Ho Chi Minh City government’s permission to conduct a feasibility study for a US$520 million waste-to-power plant.

The plant will use plasma gasification technology to burn waste at 3,000 degrees Celsius to turn it into electricity. It is expected to cover a 13-hectare area in the outlying district of Cu Chi, the city government’s website said on Wednesday.

Trisun Green Energy Co. said the plant could treat 2,000 metric tons of household waste, 1,000 metric tons of hazardous waste, and 2,000 metric tons of sludge every day, according to the website.

Ho Chi Minh City now discharges around 7,000-8,000 metric tons of waste every day and this is expected to increase by 8 percent every year.

Some 75 percent of the waste is buried, which causes wastage of land and pollutes the land as well as water sources. The rest is recycled or burnt.

At the national level, 85 percent of 23,000 tons of waste is buried every day.

Peeling Away The Layers from Waste-to-Energy

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Powered By Waste – Creating Fuel From Landfill Gas

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QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN EVALUATING A “WASTE-TO-ENERGY” INCINERATOR PROJECT OR PROPOSAL

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Questions to Ask when Evaluating a Waste to Energy Incinerator Project or Proposal

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