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Incineration should not be ignored

Recycling and waste incineration with energy recovery are complementary options to divert waste away from landfill, according to a study carried out on behalf of the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP).

The study, conducted during spring, evaluated waste incineration as a treatment and energy

recovery method from an environmental point of view. It was carried out by Swedish Consultants Profu and examined 31 case studies and detailed 12 case studies.

It found that landfill was the main treatment option in Europe, but the worst environmental option.

Profu concluded that material recycling, waste incineration with energy recovery and biological treatment were complementary options that all need to be expanded in order to replace landfill.

CEWEP stated that efforts should be made to replace landfill and if a waste cannot be recycled in an environmentally sound way, the most sustainable way to treat the waste is to incinerate it and to deliver the energy produced to citizens, industry etc.

It added that biodegradable digestion with biogas generation and incineration with energy recovery were basically better options than composting, although this result might vary in particular cases.

CEWEP planned to use its study to contribute to the discussions on the EUs Thematic Strategy on waste prevention and recycling.

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