Up to now the emissions of waste-to-energy plants have been of major concern for the operators of waste incineration plants and the public. In Germany the emission standards for waste incineration plants have been very strict for more than 10 years, more stringent than for coal fired power plants, for example. Now the member states of the European Union are following suit with the same standards in accordance with European directive 2000/76/EC on the incineration of waste. Within a couple of years all European waste incineration plants will have to comply with the emission limits of directive 2000/76/EC. There is also legislation in the pipeline restricting landfilling of untreated waste. In view of the discussions about CO2 reductions the efficiency of today’s Waste to Energy (WTE) plants should be improved, even though — or rather because — waste is regarded to some extent as “green power”. With the same goal in mind the recovery rate of reusable materials from the incineration of waste or flue gas treatment should be improved. This will make it possible to reduce the amount of CO2 generated by the production of these materials from natural resources and to conserve natural resources.

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