After reducing our trash at the source and composting and recycling what can be, waste to energy is a good way to avoid landfilling while producing both heat and electricity. China is thus turning to this solution to answer its most pressing challenges.
According to a leading American bank, the global waste industry could double to $2 trillion by 2020. This is due to as Business Green notes to ” the combination of urbanisation, looming resource shortages and environmental regulation “
This takes into account municipal and industrial waste management, recycling, waste-to-energy and sustainable packaging. Europe is seen as facing the “toughest strategic challenges ” while Asia and Latin America see the fastest growth.
Opportunities are due to abound in waste management, waste to energy (WtE), wastewater and sewage and recycling among others.
There is a lot of buzz going on about waste to energy as many cities are thinking about it. Meanwhile, a CleanTechies’ member started a most interesting series on the matter and one of my follower on Twitter wonders if it should be supported.
Personally I think we should reduce, reuse and recycle first – and compost as well, of course. But what of the remaining stuff ? Can we just put it in landfills or should we burn it in the cleanest way possible to answer our energy needs ?
The answer is not that evident as older waste to energy technologies were heavily polluting and as greenhouse gases emissions are still a problem.