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The Benefits of Making Energy from Waste. Derek A. Porter September 20, 2007. MWMA Conference 2007 Fall Summit. Global Challenges. Today, we face numerous environmental & economic challenges: Population growth and associate waste disposal needs Global Warming Dependence on fossil fuels

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The benefits of making energy from waste

The Benefits of Making Energy from Waste

Derek A. Porter

September 20, 2007

MWMA Conference

2007 Fall Summit

Global challenges
Global Challenges

  • Today, we face numerous environmental & economic challenges:

    • Population growth and associate waste disposal needs

    • Global Warming

    • Dependence on fossil fuels

  • There is a common solution for all of these challenges.

    Energy-from-Waste (EfW) provides:

    • Safe, economic waste disposal

    • Greenhouse gas reduction

    • Renewable energy

    • Resource Management

Energy from waste the greener solid waste disposal option
Energy from Waste-The Greener Solid Waste Disposal Option

Growing waste problem
Growing Waste Problem

Proliferation of MSW

Municipal Solid Waste in U.S. (in millions of tons)

  • In the US an increasing amount of trash is buried in Landfills:

    • Waste generation has increased by over a third in the past 25 years in the U.S. alone.

    • Recycling efforts have not been able to keep pace with the increased generation of trash.

  • The EU has addressed waste disposal with a directive that requires reduction of landfilling raw garbage

Source: Municipal Solid Waste in the U.S. 2005 Facts & Figures Executive Summary; Table ES02 (October 2006).

How efw is part of the solution

The new (Dec 2006) USEPA hierarchy identifies four tiers in descending order of preference:

Source reduction

Recycling or composting

Combusted with energy recovery (EfW)

Landfill or incineration without energy recovery

How EfW Is Part of the Solution

Efw recycling
EfW & Recycling descending order of preference:

  • Covanta supports “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” at our WTE facilities.

  • Communities with EfW facilities have a recycling rate that is on average 18% higher than the national average – 33% vs. 28%

  • EfW recycles ferrous and non-ferrous materials

    • More than 773,000 tons of ferrous metal is recovered annually from WTE facilities

    • Combining all onsite WTE recycling, U.S. WTE facilities recycle almost 1,672,000 tons.

Energy from waste providing clean renewable power
Energy from Waste- descending order of preference:Providing Clean RENEWABLE Power

Energy from waste one piece of the global warming solution

That’s an average of only 20 kilowatt hours of electricity per ton of waste

That’s 520 kilowatt hours of electricity per ton of waste

Energy-from-Waste: One piece of the global warming solution

Renewable Energy Generated from Landfills - 5 billion kWh


249 Million tons of trash (MSW) goes to landfills


Renewable energy generated from EfW Facilities - 15 billion kWh

29 Million tons of trash goes to EfW

Reduces dependence on fossil fuels
Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuels per ton of waste

  • Displaces fossil fuel generation and related emissions

    • DOE states that EfW makes “important contributions to the overall effort to achieve increased renewable energy use and the many associated positive environmental benefits.”

    • For every ton of MSW processed in a EfW facility, it eliminates the need for importing one barrel of oil or burning ¼ ton of coal.

      Comments on NYC’s Solid Waste Management Plan, December 2004. Columbia University Integrated Waste management Systems Earth Engineering Center

  • WTE is Clean, Reliable, Renewable Energy

    • Inexhaustible stream of MSW is renewable.

    • Recovery of the energy component of MSW is better than burying it in a landfill and contributing to methane production.

    • Recovery of ferrous and nonferrous is an important process that facilitates recycling and energy savings

    • Most current renewable power sources in use can only operate under certain conditions (Solar, Wind, Hydro).

    • EfW is able to operate and produce energy 24/7 and is sold as “base-load” electricity. It is PROVEN TECHNOLOGY!

Energy from waste a net reducer of greenhouse gases
Energy from Waste- per ton of wasteA Net REDUCER of Greenhouse Gases

Solid waste management s impact on global warming the national snapshot
Solid Waste Management’s Impact on Global Warming – the National Snapshot

Sources of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide and methane are the two major GHGs causing global warming

(IPCC 2001, 2007)

Carbon dioxide and methane together are 81% of GHG’s

Methane is 23 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide

Reduction of both is required

40 % of carbon dioxide is from fossil fuel combustion for electricity (EPA2004)

Global roundtable on climate change
Global Roundtable on Climate Change 23 times more potent than CO

  • Large group of diverse organizations participated in the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC)

    • 2 years of work will soon culminate in sustainability statement

  • Pending GROCC climate sustainability statement recognizes WTE as a mitigating technology

    • “De-carbonization can be achieved in two ways. The first is to increase the use of non-fossil-fuel-based energy sources. Potential options here include wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, nuclear, waste-to-energy and/or biomass.”

    • “Efforts to reduce global emissions of methane from landfills should be expanded, including increased use of waste-to-energyfacilities where appropriate and cost-effective.”

The efw solution helping to fight climate change
The EfW Solution Helping to Fight Climate Change 23 times more potent than CO

  • Helping To Fight Global Warming

    • Reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions

      • Offsets methane emissions from landfills.

      • On a nationwide basis, nearly one ton LESS of CO2e is released into the air due to avoided land disposal, fossil fuel power generation and metals production, for every ton of trash combusted in modern EfW facility (1)

      • EfW annually avoids 33 million metric tons of CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. (1)

      • EPA: EfW has “less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity”

      • EPA moved EfW above landfills on its hierarchy

        (1) According to EPA’s Municipal Solid Waste Decision Support Tool.

The benefits of making energy from waste

Energy from Waste- 23 times more potent than CO


Leader in u s waste disposal and renewable electricity
Leader in U.S. Waste Disposal and Renewable Electricity 23 times more potent than CO

  • 32 Waste-to-Energy Facilities

  • 6 Wood Waste Facilities

  • 5 Landfill Gas Facilities

  • 15 Million Tons of Waste Safely Disposed Of Annually

  • Over 5% of the Nation’s Waste Disposal

  • 7,800 GWh Produced from Covanta Operated Facilities

  • Nearly 10% of Nation’s Renewable Electricity

Annual U.S Renewable Generation = 88,000 GWh

Annual U.S Waste Disposal = 245,000,000 Tons

Source: US EPA Basic Facts


Source: US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration 2004 Report

Covanta s modern efw facilities
Covanta’s modern EfW facilities: 23 times more potent than CO

  • Produce a combined total of 7,800 Gigawatts hours of renewable electricity per year, which creates enough energy to power the homes in the city of Philadelphia.

  • Serve the waste disposal needs of approximately12 million people in communities across theUnited States.

  • Reduces the need for fossil fuels, saving the equivalent of 15 million barrels of oil each year.

Covanta s modern efw facilities1
Covanta’s modern EfW facilities: 23 times more potent than CO

  • Recover and recycle 360,000 tons of metals —enough to manufacture 275,000 hybrid cars each year.

  • Reduces GHG emissions by avoiding methane from landfills.

  • Have a worldwide presence, with facilities in Europe and China.

Covanta s low nox technology
Covanta’s Low NOx Technology 23 times more potent than CO

  • New technology reduces NOx emission well below EPA requirements and IMPROVES ENERGY EFFICIENCY

  • Covanta LN system can be added to existing boilers to reduce NOx to current limits with out ammonia injection. Emission can be reduced to half the current regulatory limit with ammonia injection.

  • Covanta VLN technology can be used on new units and can reduce NOx to even lower emission than the Covanta LN technology.

Energy from waste renewed interest
Energy from Waste - 23 times more potent than CORenewed Interest

Facility expansions
Facility Expansions 23 times more potent than CO

  • Hillsborough County, Florida — commenced construction January 2007

    • 600 tons per day expansion to a total capacity of 1200 tons per day.

    • 14 MW addition renewable energy

    • Extended operating agreement between County and Covanta until 2027

  • Lee County, Florida —begin operating in August 2007

    • 636 tons per day expansion

    • 14 MW additional renewable energy

    • Extended operating agreement between Count and Covanta until 2024

Request for proposals for efw
Request for Proposals for EfW 23 times more potent than CO

  • Frederick, Carroll, Harford Counties, MD

  • Honolulu, HI

  • Regional Municipality of Durham, Canada

  • Los Angeles, CA

The efw solution local benefits
The EfW Solution Local Benefits 23 times more potent than CO

  • EfW allows for a self sustaining community

    • Clean renewable power is produced in the community

    • Safe and sustainable local waste disposal

    • Truck traffic is reduced

    • Jobs are created in the community

      • The WTE industry employs over 6,000 people in high paying jobs

      • Each WTE facility purchases significant amounts of local goods and services each year

    • Lowest cost long-term waste disposal option in highly populated area

Summary of efw technology
Summary of EfW Technology 23 times more potent than CO

EfW is a specially designed energy generation facility that uses household waste as fuel and helps solve some of society’s big challenges

  • Population growth

  • Climate change

  • Dependence on fossil fuels

  • Resource management

Safe, reliable waste disposal

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Clean, renewable electricity

Recover metal for recycling

Summary of efw benefits
Summary of EfW Benefits 23 times more potent than CO

  • Global – Helps fight Global Warming by reducing landfill methane gas emissions

  • National –Reduces dependence of fossil fuel by reliably generating clean, renewable energy

  • Local – Creates local jobs and provides sustainable waste disposal