Making waste useful

Humans create about four billion tons of waste annually. City residents alone make about 1.5 billion tons of solid waste per year and this is expected to increase to 2.4 billion tons by 2025.

Currently, three quarters of the waste is disposed of in landfills, with only one quarter being recycled.

Landfilling is environmentally problematic, because decomposing municipal solid waste generates methane, a greenhouse gas. In addition, water leaching is a threat to surface and groundwater reservoirs. And landfilling is unfeasible where laws ban landfilling or impose high landfill taxes.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) plants turn the waste into valuable energy and minimize the need for landfilling.

Our 5-50 MWe WtE plants are based on combustion or advanced conversion technology (ACT) solutions. They are fuelled by solid waste (municipal, household or industrial) or RDF/SRF and can be configured for combined heat and power (CHP).

To assist officials with developing cost effective socially and environmentally responsible high level strategies, the World Bank has released an evaluation of large-scale solid waste incineration plants, that can be viewed here: Technical guidance report: Municipal Solid Waste Incineration.