Countries Worldwide Face a Mounting Waste Challenge
- Every year 1.3 billion tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is generated worldwide.
- The level of waste generation is accelerating every year, driven by population growth, economic growth and urbanization (World Bank, 2012).
“A new World Bank study projects a 70% global increase in urban solid waste… from 1.3 billion tonnes per year today to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025″
World Bank, 2012
- The cost of waste management is also expected to grow from $205 billion today to $375 billion by 2025 (World Bank, 2012).
- Many nations lack the financial resources, technical skills and institutional capacity for managing this growing volume of waste effectively.
- Currently landfill is the most commonly used waste disposal method, but land fill sites are often located close to growing towns and cities and pose multiple threats:
- To the environment – threat of pollution to beaches, wetlands, coral reefs, groundwater sources and fisheries.
- To the economy – due to the negative impact of pollution on tourism, mining, agriculture and fisheries.
- To public health – due to toxic fires, infestations and contamination of food and water.
Many Countries Also Face a Severe Energy Challenge
- Conventional sources of energy are being rapidly depleted while energy demands are growing worldwide.
- Consequently, spiraling energy prices are having a major economic impact on countries lacking energy independence.
- At the same time, concerns regarding the environmental impact of fossil fuels are rising and alternative sources of energy are being sought.
Waste to Energy (WTE) Represents an Innovative Solution to Both Challenges
- The annual volume of waste generated each year represents a vast, untapped source of alternative energy:
- Waste to Energy technology provides means of harnessing that energy and a solution to the waste and energy security challenges facing nations today.
- Plasma Gasification technology can transform almost all kinds of waste into clean, renewable energy, thereby increasing energy security and reducing the need for landfill.