Title: [GreenYes] Re: Economic Value of trash for waste to energy plants?
On Apr 19, 10:11 pm, "M.Simons" <msim...@no.address> wrote:
> The other day I was driving along.. and it occurred to me.. I'm
> wondering what the economic value is of various forms of waste for waste
> to energy/trash to steam plants. I was considering the paper recycling in
> the county where my mom lived, and wondering where it actually goes,
> considering that they actually have an incinerator in the area too, and
> paper would probably be a good feedstock for the incinerator.
> Since many decisions in the waste industry seem to be economic ones... how
> much is trash worth per ton (or any other measurement) in regards to the
> value to an incinerator? How many BTUs of energy can you typically
> recover from the average household waste? If it isn't blatantly obvious,
> my thought process is this: if we want to reduce the amount of refuse
> going to incinerators, the economic value of that waste needs to be higher
> for the purpose of reuse and recycling than it is for incineration. Does
> that make sense?
Can't give you figures, but in the UK there is increasingly a drive to
separate recycled waste at the consumer end (that is, before it is
collected from home). Plastics, one of the things we have been
most concerned should not go to incinerators due to dioxins and
furans, are amongst the most sought after waste for incinerator
companies (that take advantage of the corporate lobby's success
in changing EU law to allow incineration, rebadged waste-to-energy,
to be classed a recycling, despite the fact it is a final end use,
ash too toxic for a further cycle). This is due to the high calorific
value of plastics as compared to most other waste. It is therefore
logical that it would command a higher value - except that, with
contracts to supply to the incinerators drawn up in favour of the
corporations over the local community or local govt finance, I
expect that it is fairly rigidly controlled. In a free market? Yes,
I imagine plastics would be more valuable than some other
wastes, even with the surfeit of it that the world has.