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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.


Advantages of the incineration process

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.

mva-energy-en 

 

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Why with us

  • International team of experts

    Our team of more than 4 416 employees in 8 countries of CEE signs responsible for the smooth operation of all our services.

  • Waste as a resource

    Thanks to modern waste treatment solutions we give 560.000 tons of secondary raw materials a second life annually.

  • Just in time

    Nearly 1,3 million containers, skips and bins of all sizes and more than 1.250 trucks or special vehicles ensure secure and efficient collection and transport of all waste for further treatment.

  • Experienced service provider

    8 countries, 1 379 municipalities and 4.9 mil residents served, 21 joint-ventures with municipalities, 51 400 industrial clients. This is our brief profile.

FCC Environment CEE Group in figures

Over 1 250 trucks and special vehicles

Over 1 300 000 containers and bins

96 collection yards

18 transfer stations

31 sorting plants

11 RDF (alternative fuels treatment)

9 splitting plants

21 mechanical biological treatment plants and/or composting

27 landfills

1 waste-to-energy-plant for household and commercial waste

1 incineration facility for hazardous waste

4.9 mil residents served

4.1 mil t/a of waste processed

8 countries

51 400 industrial clients

Partner of 1 379 municipalities

21 joint-ventures with municipalities

more than 0.56mil t/a SRM handled

200 GWh/a generated by W2E plants and landfills cogeneration units

4 800 km of streets cleaned

644 hectares of green areas maintained 

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Recycling of 1 tonne of steel saves 1.100 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone
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Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves more than 2 tonnes of wood
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