6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY2› 1. General introduction to the waste-to-energy technology› Historic development of the WtE technology, key components etc.› 2. Environmental performance of WtE facilities› Atmospheric emissions› Solid residues› Other environmental impacts› 3. Responses to the ill-informed myths about WtE› Recycling or incineration?› Air pollution?› Problematic residues?› Neighbourhood impacts?Outline of my presentation on WtE:
6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY3› Waste-to-energy was first used more than 100 years ago, and has evolvedsignificantly over these years› WtE is a highly developed, environmentally clean, and energy efficient way tomanage residual waste that isnt recycled or put to other good use› There are almost 1000 well-functioning WtE plants world-wide today and thereare more and more plants being built in Europe, US, Middle East and the FarEast› Apart from waste avoidance and recycling, WtE is the only technology thatdelivers a 95% volume reduction whilst efficiently producing valuable energy› Countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden etc. are nowlandfilling only 3-7% of general waste because of WtE, recycling and othertreatment technologies› WtE is complementary to recycling. International statistics show that thecountries that recycle the most are also the ones that use WtE the most andlandfill the least waste1. General introduction to the waste-to-energytechnology
405.06.20131.1. First WtE facility in Denmark 1903 producingheat to nearby hospital
59 JUNE 2011 Northern European success towards zero landfill. Torben Kristiansen1.2. What do WtE facilities in Europe look like?
› Atmospheric emissions will comply with SA standards and strictest globalstandards (EU Waste Incineration Directive)› After combustion, only 5% of the original mass remains, mostly as bottom ashthat can be utilised or landfilled, and secondly, there is an air pollution controlresidue that requires landfill at a permitted site› WtE plants do not produce waste water other than that from toilets andgeneral cleaning and maintenance activities› There are no odours, as the plant is under negative pressure produced bydrawing all air required for the combustion process from the tipping hall andplant hall› The main potential neighbourhood impacts are normally due to traffic and thevisual impact of the large plant2. Environmental impacts6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY7
› Concern 1: Dioxin and furan emissions are a problem?› Concern 2: WtE discourages recycling?› Concern 3: WtE causes emission of greenhouse gases causing globalwarming?› Concern 4: WtE is not suitable for South Africa ?› Concern 5: Other countries are moving away from WtE due to politicaland public concerns?3. Responses to commonly held concerns:6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY8
905.06.20133.1. Concern 1: Dioxins and furans are a problem?› In the pre-1990s dioxins were a problem: WtE caused 33% of the Germandioxin emissions, which at that time totalled 1200g TU Dioxin› Now, using the current flue gas treatment, WtE accounts for less than 0,7%of the total German dioxin emission, which today is only 6% of what it wasin the pre-1990’s!› Actually, there is much more dioxin emission from diffuse sources such asinformal fires, open waste burning in underserviced areas, fireworks andindustrial processes such as metal extraction and processing than wellmanaged modern facilities› Conclusion: Dioxin was a problem in the past, but today is not seen as such› Source: German Federal Environmental Agency Study, Sept. 2005: WasteIncineration — A Potential Danger? Bidding Farewell to Dioxin Spouting
10Recycling &compostingIncinerationLandfillingSource:EUROSTAT9 JUNE 2011 Northern European success towards zero landfill. Torben Kristiansen3.2. Concern 2: WtE discourages recycling?
11Source: COWI calculations and international references:Based on marginal coal substitution9 JUNE 2011 Northern European success towards zero landfill. Torben Kristiansen3.3. Concern 3: WtE emits greenhouse gases andcauses global warming?› Direct landfilling results in emission of 330 kg CO2eq /tonne or more› WtE with electricity only results in 5 kg CO2eq /tonne› WtE with electricity and process heat results in -270 kg CO2eq /tonne› Hence: As compared to landfilling, WtE has a neutral impact compared tolandfilling if producing electricity only; and a net positive impact if processheat can be utilised
› WtE fits very well with all of South Africas overall policies:› Improves the energy generation capacity of South Africa› Diverts energy supply towards greener energy sources› Reduces dependency on landfilling of waste:› Makes better use of the generated waste› Reduces traffic congestion and long-distance haulage of waste. WtE facilities can belocated where the waste is generated› Creates new industries and skilled and unskilled jobs in a greener economy› WtE is attractive when including the opportunity costs and the real costs oflandfills, particularly in Metros where landfill capacity is critically low, newlandfills difficult to locate and are therefore likely to be further away from theMetros3.4. Concern 4: WtE is not suitable for South Africa ?6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY12
› South Africa has no experience with modern WtE. Only experience with poorlydesigned and badly operated medical waste incinerators based on designsfrom the 1970s. There can be no comparison with modern WtE technology!› In countries with long-term successful experience with WtE, such asDenmark, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands etc., there ispractically no political or even public opposition to WtE. On the contrary, WtEis seen as an important way to reduce climate impact, secure cheap andgreener energy and to avoid undesirable landfills› There are many (500+) instances in Europe where WtE facilities treating200,000 - 700,000 tonnes of waste per year are located within literally 50-200meters of residences, commercial offices and business districts withoutcausing any major concerns› There is a global growth in the number of WtE facilities, both in Europe and inparticular in the growth economies in Asia.› Most countries government policies include WtE as a way to reduce landfillingand make better use of resources that cannot be recycled.› Very few countries have banned or made moratorium for WtE3.5. Concern 5: Political and public concerns aboutWtE in other countries?6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY13
› WtE is a very well proven technology that can work hand-in-hand withrecycling and other waste management approaches› WtE is the only technology that delivers a 95% mass reduction of landfillvolume whilst producing much needed electricity and possible process energyfor nearby industries› WtE supports South African government policies› The environmental impact from WtE facilities is extremely limited and veryattractive compared to the alternative of landfilling residual waste› Combined global experience with WtE technology is based on more than 100years of using and refining the technology, and from the continuous 24/7operation of lots of plants throughout the world.› There are almost 1000 well functioning WtE facilities globally and the numbersare increasing, especially in Asia but also in Europe, the US and the MiddleEast.4. Conclusion6 APRIL 2013WASTE-TO-ENERGY14
- Thank you!Torben KristiansenVice President Solid Waste ManagementCOWI A/Stokh@cowi.comwww.cowi.com/waste15COWI is a leading independent European and global consulting group providingstate-of-the-art services within engineering, environmental science and economics.COWI has more than 6,500 employees worldwide including Denmark, Sweden,Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Spain, Belgium, UK,Greenland, Turkey, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar,India, South Korea, China, USA, & Canada.COWI s majority owner is the COWI foundation that returns profits into thedevelopment of COWI and its employees skills and tools while maintaining COWI asan unbiased and independent knowledge and engineering consultancy.9 JUNE 2011 Northern European success towards zero landfill. Torben Kristiansen