The European energy from waste sector has “considerable potential” in helping to help meet energy and environmental targets, according to European Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella.
The recovery of energy from residual waste is an area with “considerable growth potential”, Vella said, addressing the Dutch Parliament on Monday (4 April).
He also said that that up to 20% of combustible and non-recyclable municipal waste in the EU could be suitable for energy from waste treatment.
“The first objective of the circular economy package is to avoid waste in the first place,” Vella said. “But you can never eliminate it all, and you can never recycle it all of it. However you can still gain by recovering energy from the non-recyclable materials.”
“So the Commission is looking to adopt a Communication on Waste-to-Energy by the end of this year. This will address how waste to energy can be optimised without compromising higher reuse and recycling rates and respecting the principles of the EU waste hierarchy”
Vella also revealed that the EU’s communication on energy from waste policy will be published before the end of 2016.
“So the Commission is looking to adopt a Communication on Waste-to-Energy by the end of this year. This will address how waste to energy can be optimised without compromising higher reuse and recycling rates and respecting the principles of the EU waste hierarchy.
“It’s too early to go into details, but it’s clear that this is an area with a considerable growth potential. When we reduce landfilling, increase separate collection and strive for higher recycling rates, we can probably expect to send more than 20% of combustible and non-recyclable municipal waste to the waste to energy processes.”
His speech concluded: Cooperation on common goals is the best way to fulfil our role towards future generations. It will help us look at our collective economic future with higher hopes and higher ambitions. We can, and we will achieve our objective, if we are all working in the same direction.”