Higher Recycling signals end of incineration

This article reflects what we have been saying all along, which is increase recycling and we don’t need to bury it or burn it.  Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik also confirms that incineration is a disincentive to waste reduction and recycling.

Below is an extract, the full article can be found here.


The Environment Commissioner also reflected on the role of incineration, refuse derived fuel exports from the UK and the TEEP/commingling debate. Asked about the exports of refused derived fuel from the UK and whether it could actually be an advantage for the UK not having many incinerators because they would need to be fed for many years, he said that incineration had to be looked at “in a holistic way”.

‘We should avoid over investment in incineration to the extent that it inhibits progress to further recycling and waste reduction because once built, as you mentioned yourself, they need to be fed with waste for many decades and in a way we could be locked in’

“It can be part of a balanced waste management policy particularly where high coefficients of energy recovery are achieved, but it needs to be done carefully, because it can result, for example, in pollution emissions into the air, surface water and ground water posing potentially significant risk to human health and the environment.

“That’s the first thing one has to have in mind. The second is that properly executed incineration with energy recovery, heat and electricity from targeting only the fraction of waste which cannot be recycled in line with the orientation given to us by the Council and Parliament, can form part of an advanced waste strategy, especially to divert non-recyclable waste from being disposed of in landfill fields.”