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About incineration

I. Incineration plant definition (according to 2000/76/EC)

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.

II. Myths and the reality about incineration

General discussions about incinerating of wastes are accompanied often by contra dictionary information about pros and cons. In reality disadvantages of incinerating are limited due to the fact of very strict requirements within the approval process and a following operation phase of modern incineration plants. Risk factors that could harm human environment are eliminated or definitely strictly controlled. The advantages of waste incineration can be recognized in all circumstance by everyone. Nevertheless, there still exist many myths about incineration.

Myths Reality

Incinerators cause pollution and raise risk to health and contamination of surrounding land.

It is true that emissions from waste incinerators need to be monitored continuously. But all waste incineration processes are now designed and operated so that residual emissions of pollutants comply with the emission limits set out in the Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC).

Source: Incineration Directive 2000 76 (pdf)

All emissions are measured continuously and online reported to the authority. Additionally the input and the environment are checked by bioindication (sampling of soil, water, plants, animals- showing measurable damages to flora, soil and water fauna)

Thus, emissions from modern incinerators are not likely to put our health at risk, and in reality there are many other far worse emissions from factories, road traffic on motorways, and even home coal and wood fires.

Incinerators are the largest producers of dioxins. It is the dioxins contained in the gases from the chimneys that attract most concern because they are suspected of causing cancer.

In the 80´s incineration was considered to be a great producer of dioxins. Technology meantime has improved so emissions are negligible.

Dioxins are unwanted by products of a wide range of manufacturing processes including smelting, chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacturing of some herbicides and pesticides. Some of these processes produce much more dioxins than incineration.

Incineration encourages more waste because operators need to have a constant level of waste to keep the fires burning. To meet this demand, campaigners say, local authorities abandon recycling and waste reduction plans.

Beside a profitable recycling and composting of waste from separate collection there is still residual waste left that is for incineration of value but not for any other kind of treatment. When using central heating and power generation, waste substitutes more valuable resources like coal, oil and so on…

The ash from the incineration process cannot be used for any purpose. It is contaminated and must be disposed only.

Bottom ash from incinerators can be used in the road building industry.

The operation of incineration causes more pollution to the air and annoyance due to noise by the traffic (transport of waste to incinerator)

Incineration plants can be located close to residential areas, which are the centers of production of waste, and this helps to reduce the volume of traffic, pollution, noise and of course the costs for the waste transportation. Many incinerators have their own rail connection (siding). In the .A.S.A. Incinerator in Zistersdorf 70% of input material is transported by railway transport resulting in less impact to the environment.

The underground water is polluted

Incineration respecting the EU directive causes no pollution to any source of water.

III. Advantages of the incineration process – summary

Energy from waste (EfW) facilities (Incinerator)

  • Combust waste under controlled conditions in accordance to EU Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC).
  • Reduce the volume of waste by ~90%, only a very small amount should be disposed on the landfill sites, which are considered the least environmentally friendly option
  • Reduce the hazardousness of waste
  • Generate electricity and/or heat. Electricity generated from a typical 100,000tpa facility would be roughly equivalent to the electricity usage of 20,000 households and would be exported to the national grid. Any heat produced by the plant could be used in industrial or district heating schemes if appropriate to the need and the infrastructure can be developed.
  • Sort out the scrap which is thereafter used in steel industry. By this the primary raw materials are saved.



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Why with us

  • All for one:

    We provide broad general waste solutions for the municipal, industrial, commercial and retail sectors as well as for domestic households.

  • Service for the Future:

    The long-term business relationships are founded on mutual trust and cooperation, loyalty and reliability, transparency and quality. We feel obliged to our customers and the environment – economy and ecology are therefore one and the same.

  • Professional and trustworthy:

    Due to our long-termexperience in the section waste-management, we can provide a straightforward, trustworthy, professional and environmentally friendly waste-management.

  • Modern plants and equipment:

    A modern waste-to-energy-plant, 3 sorting plants, 2 landfill sites, more than 200 trucks and special vehicles and more than 220.000 collection-/transport-containers and bins guarantee a professional waste-disposal and waste-treatment.

Plants and equipment

More than 200 trucks/special vehicles

More than 220.000 collection/transport containers

1 waste-to-energy-plant 

3 sorting plants

3 automatic splitting plants

1 mechanical / biological treatment plant

1 chemical / physical treatment plant

2 treatment plant for residue-derived fuels (RDF)

2 landfill sites

Did you know?
Over 1.250 trucks and special vehicles
Did you know?
Over 1,300.000 Containers and bins
Did you know?
Over 92 collection yards
Did you know?
17 transfer stations
Did you know?
28 sorting plants
Did you know?
12 RDF (alternative fuels treatment) and/or splitting plants
Did you know?
3 mechanical biological treatment plants
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19 composting, solidification and biodegradation plants
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28 landfills
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1 waste-to-energy-plant for household and commercial waste
Did you know?
5,1 mil residents served
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more than 576.000 t/a SRM handled
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200 GWh/a by our W2E plants and cogeneration units
Did you know?
4.443 km streets cleaned
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2.000 ha green areas maintained
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more than 36.500 industrial clients served