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Concept: Incineration


This work presents the enforcement performance of recent Haulien County, Taiwan municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling management programs. These programs include: Mandatory Refuse Sorting and Recycling, Diverse Bulk Waste Reuse, Pay-as-you-Discharge, Total Food Waste Recycling, Restricted Use on Plastic Shopping Bags & Plastic Tableware, Recycling Fund Management, and Ash Reuse. These programs provide incentives to reduce the MSW quantity growth rate. It was found that the recycled material fraction of MSW generated in 2001 was from 6.8%, but was 32.4% in 2010 and will increase stably by 2-5% yearly in the near future. Survey data for the last few years show that only 2.68% (based on total MSW generated) of food waste was collected in 2001. However, food waste was up to 9.7 % in 2010 after the Total Food Waste Recycling program was implemented. The reutilization rate of bottom ash was 20% in 2005 and up to 65% in 2010 owing to Ash Reuse Program enforcement. A quantified index, the Total Recycle Index, was proposed to evaluate MSW management program performance. The demonstrated county will move toward a zero waste society in 2015 if the Total Recycle Index approaches 1.00. Exact management with available programs can lead to slow-growing waste volume and recovery of all MSW.

Concepts: Waste management, Reuse, Recycling, Incineration, Waste, Waste picker, Waste hierarchy, Waste management concepts


This study explores the influence of the chemical composition (SiO(2), CaO, Fe(2)O(3), and Al(2)O(3)) of incinerator bottom ash on its friction angle. Direct shear tests were performed to measure the strength of bottom ash with two distinctly different compositions. Then, an empirical equation was regressed to determine the correlation between each composition and the friction angle. The experimental results showed that the main constituent material of the incinerator bottom ash from general municipal wastes is SiO(2), and the friction angle is 48.04°-52.66°. The bottom ash from incineration plants treating both municipal wastes and general industrial wastes has a high content of iron-aluminum oxides, and its friction angle is 44.60°-52.52°. According to the multivariate regression analysis result, the friction angle of bottom ash of any composition is influenced mainly by the Fe(2)O(3) and Al(2)O(3) contents. This study used the friction angle of the bottom ash from four different incineration plants to validate the empirical equation, and found that the error between actual friction angles and the predicted values was -1.36% to 5.34%. Therefore, the regressed empirical equation in this study can be employed in engineering applications to preliminarily identify the backfill quality of incinerator bottom ash.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Empiricism, Recycling, Incineration, Biodegradable waste, Bottom ash, Incinerator bottom ash


A sensor unit was placed online in the particle stream produced by an eddy current separator (ECS) to investigate its functionality in non-ferrous metals recovery. The targeted feed was the 1-6mm size fraction bottom ash from a municipal waste incinerator. The sensor unit was attached to the ECS splitter, where it counted in real-time metal and mineral particles and accurately measured the grade of the stream in the metals product. Influence of segregation (e.g. due to particle size or density) on the metals concentrate were detected and studied using the sensor data collected at different splitter distances. Tests were performed in the laboratory and in a bottom ash processing plant with two different types of ECS and two sources of bottom ash with different moisture content. The measured metal grades matched the manual analyses with errors 0%, 1.5% and 3.1% for moist, dry and very wet feed, respectively. For very wet feed the ECS metals recovery dropped, which was observed from the strongly reduced particle counts and the large changes in cumulative particle properties. The measured sample proved representative for the whole metals concentrate if it is collected at a representative position within the metals particle trajectory fan produced by the ECS. ECS-performance proved sensitively dependent on splitter distance, since a 10mm shift may result in 10% change in metal recovery and 18% change in grade. The main functionalities of the sensor unit are determined as online quality control and facilitation of automatic control over the ECS splitter distance. These functionalities translate in significant improvements in ECS metals recovery which in turn is linked to economic benefits, increased recycling rate of scrap metals and a further reduction of the ecological drawbacks of incinerator bottom ash.

Concepts: Iron, Waste management, Recycling, Chemical engineering, Incineration, Bottom ash, Eddy current, Incinerator bottom ash


The objective of this study is to discuss the role of networks formed of waste-picker cooperatives in ameliorating problems of final disposal of solid waste in the city of Rio de Janeiro, since the city’s main landfill will soon have to close because of exhausted capacity. However, it is estimated that in the city of Rio de Janeiro there are around five thousand waste-pickers working in poor conditions, with lack of physical infrastructure and training, but contributing significantly by diverting solid waste from landfills. According to the Sustainable Development Indicators (IBGE, 2010a,b) in Brazil, recycling rates hover between 45% and 55%. In the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, only 1% of the waste produced is collected selectively by the government (COMLURB, 2010), demonstrating that recycling is mainly performed by waste-pickers. Furthermore, since the recycling market is an oligopsony that requires economies of scale to negotiate directly with industries, the idea of working in networks of cooperatives meets the demands for joint marketing of recyclable materials. Thus, this work presents a method for creating and structuring a network of recycling cooperatives, with prior training for working in networks, so that the expected synergies and joint efforts can lead to concrete results. We intend to demonstrate that it is first essential to strengthen the waste-pickers' cooperatives in terms of infrastructure, governance and training so that solid waste management can be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Concepts: Waste management, Sustainability, Recycling, Incineration, Waste, Landfill, Waste picker, Waste hierarchy


Waste reduction and recycling at the city level will acquire greater significance in the near future due to rising global volumes of waste. This paper seeks to identify policy-relevant drivers for successful promotion of waste reduction and recycling. Factors influencing the success of waste reduction and recycling campaigns are identified. Two case study cities in Japan which depict the successful use of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) at the municipal level are presented. In these cases, the existence of incinerators, which are generally considered as disincentives for recycling, was not functioning as a disincentive but rather as an incentive for waste reduction. Owing to the high cost of incineration facilities, the movement to close incinerators has become a strong incentive for waste reduction and recycling in these two cities. The study suggests that careful consideration is necessary when making decisions concerning high-cost waste treatment facilities with high installation, maintenance and renewal outlays. In addition, intensive source separation and other municipal recycling initiatives have a high potential for producing positive results.

Concepts: City, Japan, Waste management, Reuse, Recycling, Incineration, Waste hierarchy, Waste treatment technology


Many methods have been reported and used to include recycling in life cycle assessments (LCAs). This paper evaluates six widely used methods: three substitution methods (i.e. substitution based on equal quality, a correction factor, and alternative material), allocation based on the number of recycling loops, the recycled-content method, and the equal-share method. These six methods were first compared, with an assumed hypothetical 100% recycling rate, for an aluminium can and a disposable polystyrene (PS) cup. The substitution and recycled-content method were next applied with actual rates for recycling, incineration and landfilling for both product systems in selected countries. The six methods differ in their approaches to credit recycling. The three substitution methods stimulate the recyclability of the product and assign credits for the obtained recycled material. The choice to either apply a correction factor, or to account for alternative substituted material has a considerable influence on the LCA results, and is debatable. Nevertheless, we prefer incorporating quality reduction of the recycled material by either a correction factor or an alternative substituted material over simply ignoring quality loss. The allocation-on-number-of-recycling-loops method focusses on the life expectancy of material itself, rather than on a specific separate product. The recycled-content method stimulates the use of recycled material, i.e. credits the use of recycled material in products and ignores the recyclability of the products. The equal-share method is a compromise between the substitution methods and the recycled-content method. The results for the aluminium can follow the underlying philosophies of the methods. The results for the PS cup are additionally influenced by the correction factor or credits for the alternative material accounting for the drop in PS quality, the waste treatment management (recycling rate, incineration rate, landfilling rate), and the source of avoided electricity in case of waste incineration. The results for the PS cup, which are less dominated by production of virgin material than aluminium can, furthermore depend on the environmental impact categories. This stresses the importance to consider other impact categories besides the most commonly used global warming impact. The multitude of available methods complicates the choice of an appropriate method for the LCA practitioner. New guidelines keep appearing and industries also suggest their own preferred method. Unambiguous ISO guidelines, particularly related to sensitivity analysis, would be a great step forward in making more robust LCAs.

Concepts: Waste management, Recyclable materials, Recycling, Incineration, Waste, Landfill, Life cycle assessment, Waste treatment technology


Brazil has a large population with a high waste generation. The municipal solid waste (MSW) generated is deposited mainly in landfills. However, a considerable fraction of the waste is still improperly disposed of in dumpsters. In order to overcome this inadequate deposition, it is necessary to seek alternative routes. Between these alternatives, it is possible to quote gasification and incineration. The objective of this study is to compare, from an energetic and economic point of view, these technologies, aiming at their possible implementation in Brazilian cities. A total of two configurations were evaluated: (i) waste incineration with energy recovery and electricity production in a steam cycle; and (ii) waste gasification, where the syngas produced is used as fuel in a boiler of a steam cycle for electricity production. Simulations were performed assuming the same amount of available waste for both configurations, with a composition corresponding to the MSW from Santo André, Brazil. The thermal efficiencies of the gasification and incineration configurations were 19.3% and 25.1%, respectively. The difference in the efficiencies was caused by the irreversibilities associated with the gasification process, and the additional electricity consumption in the waste treatment step. The economic analysis presented a cost of electrical energy produced of 0.113 (US$ kWh(-1)) and 0.139 (US$ kWh(-1)) for the incineration and gasification plants respectively.

Concepts: Waste management, Recycling, Coal, Incineration, Waste-to-energy, Biodegradable waste, Gasification, Waste treatment technology


The management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is one of the main costs incurred by local authorities in developing countries. According to some estimates, these costs can account for up to 50% of city government budgets. It is therefore of importance that policymakers, urban planners and practitioners have an adequate understanding of what these costs consist of, from collection to final waste disposal. This article focuses on a specific stage of the MSW value chain, the treatment of waste, and it aims to identify cost patterns associated with the implementation and operation of waste treatment approaches in developing Asian countries. An analysis of the capital (CAPEX) and operational expenditures (OPEX) of a number of facilities located in countries of the region was conducted based on a database gathering nearly 100 projects and which served as basis for assessing four technology categories: composting, anaerobic digestion (AD), thermal treatment, and the production of refuse-derived fuel (RDF). Among these, it was found that the least costly to invest, asa function of the capacity to process waste, are composting facilities, with an average CAPEX per ton of 21,493 USD2015/ton. Conversely, at the upper end featured incineration plants, with an average CAPEX of 81,880 USD2015/ton, with this treatment approach ranking by and large as the most capital intensive of the four categories assessed. OPEX figures of the plants, normalized and analyzed in the form of OPEX/ton, were also found to be higher for incineration than for biological treatment methods, although on this component differences amongst the technology groups were less pronounced than those observed for CAPEX. While the results indicated the existence of distinct cost implications for available treatment approaches in the developing Asian context, the analysis also underscored the importance of understanding the local context asa means to properly identify the cost structure of each specific plant. Moreover, even though CAPEX and OPEX figures are important elements to assess the costs of a waste treatment system, these should not be considered on a standalone basis for decision making purposes. In complement to this internal cost dimension, the broader impacts - to the economy, society and the environment - resulting from the adoption of a certain treatment approach should be properly understood and, ideally, measured and expressed in monetary terms.

Concepts: Cost, Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Incineration, Waste-to-energy, Biodegradable waste, Mechanical biological treatment, Waste treatment technology


The study evaluated the environmental performances of an integrated material recovery facility (MRF) able to treat 32kt/y of unsorted mixed waste, made of residuals from household source separation and separate collection. The facility includes a mechanical sorting platform for the production of a solid recovered fuel (SRF) utilized in an external waste-to-energy plant, bio-cells for tunnel composting of organic fraction, and a sanitary landfill for the safe disposal of ultimate waste. All the MRF sub-units have been analysed in depth in order to acquire reliable data for a life cycle assessment study, focused on the environmental performances of different configurations of the facility. The study investigated a “past” configuration, including just mechanical sorting, landfilling and biogas combustion in a gas engine, and the “present” one, which includes also a composting unit. Two possible “future” configurations, having a gasifier inside the MRF battery limits, have been also analysed, assessing the performances of two fluidized bed reactors of different size, able to gasify only the residues generated by the sorting platform or the whole amount of produced SRF, respectively. The analysis evaluated the contributions of each unit in the different configurations and allowed a reliable assessment of the technological evolution of the facility. The results quantified the positive effect of the inclusion of an aerobic treatment of the waste organic fraction. The SRF gasification in situ appears to improve the MRF environmental performances in all the impact categories, with the exclusion of that of global warming.

Concepts: Waste management, Recycling, Biofuel, Incineration, Landfill, Gasification, Mechanical biological treatment, Waste treatment technology


The residence of municipal solid waste within a landfill body results in a significant change of material properties. Experiences with the energetic utilisation of the burnable fractions from formerly landfilled waste are hardly documented, the influence of refuse derived fuels (RDF) from such materials on the performance of modern waste-to-energy plants is not sufficiently described in scientific literature. Therefore this study focuses on the energetic utilisation of refuse derived fuel from landfilled waste, processed in a mechanical waste treatment facility, and the impact of the material on the operation of the incineration plant. Additionally, the possibility of direct combustion of non-pre-treated excavated landfill material has been evaluated in the same facility. First, sampling and analysis of the fuel has been carried out. Based on this, a large-scale combustion experiment was planned and conducted in an industrial waste-to-energy plant. Steam mass flow rate, concentration of harmful substances in the raw gas, as well as total emissions of the facility have been monitored in detail. Furthermore, the influence of the landfilled material on the additive consumption has been determined. The combustion residues (bottom ash) were also sampled and analysed. Based on the evaluation of operating data and analysis of both fuel and residue, suitable thermal treatment approaches for the refuse-derived fuel and the non-pre-treated excavated material have been assessed.

Concepts: Waste management, Recycling, Incineration, Waste-to-energy, Biodegradable waste, Landfill, Waste treatment technology, Refuse-derived fuel