Incineration should be used for about 30% of our household waste, according to composting technology provider Agrivert. With a view fed by the composting industry, Agrivert managing director Alexander Maddan doesn’t think ambitious EU and UK plans for waste can be achieved without using Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plants.
Maddan said: “Waste streams suffer from increased cost and environmental impact the more that is recycled from them – an unpalatable but solid fact.”
According to Maddan a typical household waste sample can be roughly split into three, with reasonable cost margins. About 35% of biodegradable waste can be extracted for composting or anaerobic digestion and about 35% of dry recyclate (paper, metal, plastic, glass) can be extracted, leaving a remainder of 30% mixed residual waste. Maddon says this 30% is “simply not effective or economic to recycle”.
Maddon, while believing that the percentage of waste a society recycles should always exceed the amount it burns, says the “three-pronged” approach to waste management is needed “to meet the needs of sustainability and economy”.