The impact of technologized waste management on CO2-emissions

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk at conference or symposiumScience to science


In a highly technologized waste management industry the assessment of CO2-emissions offers the possibility to evaluate the environmental impact of waste treatment processes. To analyse the CO2-emissions, the performance of pure waste incineration was calculated and compared with alternative thermal treatments (for example refuse-derived fuel) and recycling. Scenarios for thermal treatment and recycling were developed to see what would happen if primary fuels made out of non-renewables were substituted by secondary fuels made out of waste. The use of waste as an energy source, especially in cement plants and within the paper industry represents an effective technology for reducing CO2-emissions while providing heat and energy. Due to the use of recycling processes and recycled products greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. In this paper, a method to assess and calculate CO2-emissions in waste management companies is presented. These calculations are based on empirical data gathered in an internationally operating waste management enterprise. The resulting CO2-emissions of thermal treatment and recycling of the waste industry are compared to the alternative of non-renewables used in thermal plants and without any recycling treatments. Furthermore, this paper points out that there is still potential for optimizing waste treatment, in particular, for refuse-derived fuel.
Period8 Sept 2021
Event title20th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production
Event typeConference
LocationGraz, AustriaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational