Energy from Waste
Definition of Energy-from-Waste ("EfW") or Waste-to-Energy ("WtE")
efw-flipEfW is a process that takes solid waste and creates energy, typically in the form of electricity, from the combustion of that waste. Waste is transferred into combustion chambers where it is reduced to 10 percent of its original volume. The heat generated within the combustion chambers heats water contained in steel tubes located along the perimeter of the boiler. This hot water turns to steam, which is filtered through a turbine that continuously generates electricity
Benefits of EfW
The US Environmental Protection Agency has stated that EfW plants are a "clean, reliable, and renewable source of energy" that "produces electricity with less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity."
Landfill Free solution
The by-product of EfW yields energy that powers millions of homes across North America
Can save 2 barrels of crude oil, 12,000 cubic feet of natural gas, and 1,200 pounds of coal per year for every household serviced
Knowledge that all waste is properly and permanently disposed
In today's green-conscious society, companies are highly encouraged and almost expected to be environmental stewards. Due to these high expectations, the United States is experiencing an environmental Green Movement. One of the outcomes of the Green push is a demand for "less landfill" and more "renewable sources of energy." Currently, over 50% of waste generated in the United States is disposed of in landfills annually. At the present rate, in the United States alone, 3,500 acres are lost annually to landfills, and this number will continue to rise to keep pace with our ever-increasing generation of trash.
"Corporate America" recognizes the Green Movement by embracing recycling and renewable energy initiatives. Recycling is a vital part of a sustainable waste solution because it has the potential to significantly reduce our waste stream and reuse and conserve valuable natural resources. Energy-from-Waste ("EfW") facilities complement recycling efforts by recovering energy and metals from the waste that is unable to be recycled. In the United States, municipalities that have EfW facilities typically have a higher recycling rate because they are more environmentally conscious--33% recycling with EfW vs. 28% without. Due to technical and economic limitations, it is simply not practical to recycle all waste. Therefore, the ideal option to handle the waste remaining after recycling is to convert it into electricity using modern EfW facilities.
The EfW Difference
Over the past 25 years, the EfW industry has developed state-of-the-art technology that makes EfW one of the cleanest forms of energy generation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, Department of Energy and 23 states have classified EfW as a renewable technology, and the Department of Energy states that turning solid waste into energy makes "important contributions to the overall effort to achieve increased renewable energy use and the many associated positive environmental benefits." The advanced technology in combusting waste is the air quality (emission) control system. EfW facilities meet or exceed the strictest federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and employ a multi-step process to achieve superior environmental performance.