Assessment of the synergy between recycling and thermal treatments in municipal solid waste management in Europe
In 2018, the production of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in EU-28 reached 250.6 Mt, with the adoption of different management strategies, involving recycling (48 wt %), incineration and thermal valorization (29 wt %) and landfilling (23 wt %). This work was based on the analysis of the baseline situation of MSW management in EU-28 in 2018, considering its progress in 2008–2018, and discussed the possible improvement perspectives based on a framework involving incineration and recycling as the only possible alternatives, specifically evaluating the capability of already-existing incineration plants to fulfill the EU needs in the proposed framework. The results of the assessment showed two main crucial issues that could play a pivotal role in the achievement of Circular Economy action plan targets: the need to increase the recycling quotas for specific MSW fractions through the separate collection, and therefore the improvement of definite treatment process chains; the optimization of the recovery of secondary raw materials from incineration bottom ash, involving the recycling of ferrous and nonferrous metals and the mineral fraction. Both issues need to find an extensive application across all member states to decrease the actual differences in the adoption of sustainable MSW management options.
municipal solid waste
More Funding Information
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)