Health and Environment
In 2005, the German Ministry of Environment produced a document reviewing the effects of legislative evolution both at national and European level regarding emissions from Waste-to-Energy plants.
This report concludes that, since these legislative changes, Waste-to-Energy plants are no longer significant in terms of emissions of dioxins, dust and heavy metals.
Here are some excerpts:
And because of stringent regulations (cf. the chapters at the end of this paper), waste incineration plants are no longer significant in terms of emissions of dioxins, dust, and heavy metals. And this still applies even though waste incineration capacity has almost doubled since 1985.
Total dioxin emissions from all 66 waste incineration plants in Germany has dropped to approx. one thousandth as a consequence of the installation of filter units stipulated by statutory law: from 400 grams (cf. explanation below) to less than 0.5 grams. […] Chimneys and tiled stoves in private households alone discharge approximately twenty times more dioxin into the environment than waste incineration plants
The full document can be found here.
Reference: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Waste Incineration — A Potential Danger? Bidding Farewell to Dioxin Spouting, September 2005.