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WTE plants installed in European cities: a review of success stories

Paraskevi Chaliki (Department of Electrical Engineering, Technological Educational Institution of Piraeus, Egaleo, Greece)
Constantinos S. Psomopoulos (Department of Electrical Engineering, Technological Educational Institution of Piraeus, Egaleo, Greece)
Nickolas J. Themelis (Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 8 August 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

Waste is a resource. Generating energy from waste instead of sending it to landfill avoids methane gas which equals 25 times CO2 in mass. In combination with the energy efficiency thresholds set in Waste Framework Directive, this could prevent up to a further 45 million tons of CO2 eq. per year. The purpose of this paper is to present the waste-to-energy (WTE) plants installed in ten European cities which have been selected among the most sustainable cities or among the best cities to live in.

Design/methodology/approach

The work is based on literature review and a combination of several statistical data and reports that include the required data.

Findings

The European Directives, along with the general thinking that wastes are resources and the effort to reduce the environmental impact in urban environment from waste management, were the driving forces. The most sustainable cities in EU considered that their sustainability is based also in energy recovery from wastes. All of them are using WTE facilities to treat a significant part of their waste in order to produce energy in the form of heat and electricity. And they do it in a very successful and environmental friendly way, as they mainly utilize the waste fractions that cannot be recycled or reused, and they do not landfill these resources. This approach is proving that the sustainable waste management cannot be achieved without WTE facilities, since a fraction of wastes consists of non-recyclable and non-reusable materials, which present significant heating value that cannot be neglected as an energy source.

Originality/value

This paper presents the WTE plants installed in ten European cities which have been selected among the most sustainable cities or among the best cities to live in. This work aims to present the strong and successful relation between WTE and sustainability in the modern complex urban environment.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

A previous version of this paper has been presented in the 12th International Conference on Protection and Restoration of the Environment, Skiathos Island, Greece, June 29 to July 3, 2014.

Citation

Chaliki, P., Psomopoulos, C.S. and Themelis, N.J. (2016), "WTE plants installed in European cities: a review of success stories", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 606-620. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-01-2015-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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