Waste to energy is only one way of handling waste, material recovery is another aspect of sustainable waste management. This is actually nothing new and has always been part of the operation of WTE (Waste to Energy) plants in Hamburg. In descriptions of the first waste incineration plant in Hamburg, which started operation in 1896, it was stated that “the fly ash” collected in the ash chambers was used as filler material for the insulation of ceiling cavities. Its use in the sandwich walls of money safes was expressly recommended by the members of the urban refuse collection authority. Another lucrative trade was the sorting of scrap iron. It was separated from the incineration slag with magnets. The slag itself was said to be as sterile as lava, as hard as glass, as useful as bricks, and it was a profitable side product of waste incineration. The crushed incinerator slag was evidently so much in demand in road construction and as an aggregate in concrete production that demand could often not be met in the building season, even though it was stored through the winter, [1,2,3].
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Ash Recycling: Just a Dream?
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Zwahr, H. "Ash Recycling: Just a Dream?." Proceedings of the 12th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference. 12th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference. Savannah, Georgia, USA. May 17–19, 2004. pp. 61-73. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/NAWTEC12-2211
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