Sustainable circular economy needs credibility

What Credibility means

Dipl.-Ing.(TU) Werner P. Bauer

A good waste incineration plant with a high quality of exhaust gas cleaning and energy utilization - i.e. a waste-to-energy plant - is expensive enough. Those who deliberately want to make it even more expensive by participating in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) are overlooking the fact that thermal recycling will then remain too expensive for many countries. If thermal recycling is included in the EU ETS, power plant operators would have to buy emission allowances for every ton of CO2 they emit when thermally treating household, commercial and industrial waste. These additional costs of incineration would lead even more than before to residual materials from recycling being exported to diffuse sources and - as is so often the case - ultimately ending up there in the sea.

My wish for the end of this year is that the split between material and energy recycling will finally end and that as many stakeholders as possible will see all possible solutions for a sustainable circular economy. Loosely based on Thomas Hobbes, "Real knowledge does not come from reading books, but from observing reality."

The cover picture of the newsletter is a good example of this; the waste management company in Munich (AWM) promotes waste avoidance and then drives the remaining waste to the waste-fueled combined heat and power plant of the city of Munich.

Wishing you a peaceful New Year
Yours, Werner Bauer


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