Recovering energy from domestic waste

In the EEC/EU as a whole, 80% of municipal solid waste incinerators have energy recovery facilities. Sweden recovers energy from 1.5 million tonnes or 56% of its domestic waste to satisfy about 15% of its district heating needs. In all, Sweden incinerates about 80% of its municipal waste and all its 25 incinerators are fitted with energy recovery facilities.

The activated-sludge process of sewage treatment produces sewage gas, consisting of carbon dioxide and methane. At many of the larger sites the sewage gas is used in boiler plants to produce power to sell to the national grid and heat the digestion process.

If all Europe's domestic waste was turned to energy it would provide heating and electricity for 35 million people. Put another way, 15% of Europe's domestic electricity could be generated from the waste in dustbins. A network of modern, clean energy recovery plants across Europe could potentially process an additional 50 million tonnes of municipal solid waste and provide a substantial source of energy.
Facilitated by:
Using packaging
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy