Circular Economy

Waste-to-Energy: an “indispensable pillar of waste management”

8th December 2021

Ten associations highlight the importance of Waste-to-Energy for a sustainable circular economy and as a compenent of services of general interest.

In this joint policy paper, ten associations from the waste management, public utilities and services of general interest highlight the importance of Waste-to-Energy in waste management and in a sustainable circular economy.

They note that the main reasons why Waste-to-Energy (WtE) is a necessary and sustainable component of services of general interest:

  • Waste-to-Energy (WtE) is necessary, because there is no more sustainable alternative for dealing with certain waste. At the same time, the use of waste heat, minerals and metals can make a substantial contribution to raw material supply and to reaching the European climate targets.
  • WtE offers the opportunity to dispose non-recyclable waste hygienically and safely, while at the same time utilising its energy content.
  • WtE plants, together with waste sorting and recycling, are indispensable for avoiding environmentally harmful landfilling, which is still carried out in many EU Member States.
  • A steering effect (e.g. through a CO₂ price) in favour of climate protection has to be initiated by addressing the design and raw materials of the products, i.e. at the beginning of the product life cycle. At the stage of disposal, it is not possible anymore to influence which products are eligible for repairing or recycling.

The full paper can be downloaded here.

It was co-signed by:

  • European Federation of Local and Regional Energy Companies (CEDEC)
  • Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP)
  • European Waste Management Association (FEAD)
  • Federal Association of the German Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Industries (BDE)
  • German Association of German Cities (DST)
  • German Association of Local Public Utilities (VKU)
  • German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB)
  • German County Association (DLT)
  • Interest Group of Thermal Waste Treatment Plants in Germany (ITAD)
  • Municipal Waste Europe (MWE)
  • The Austrian Association of Public Enterprises and the Public Sector (VÖWG).