The waste management sector can help the EU cut natural gas consumption by 15% and implement its REPowerEU plan, the European Waste Management Association – FEAD said.
According to FEAD, the waste management sector itotalt (yet) at its full capacity for producing and saving energy.
The organization said its members could play a fundamental role in the European Union’s effort to end the dependence on Russian fossil fuels and tackle the climate crisis. It noted that the sector conducts recycling and recovery operations and produces heat and energy through incineration and anaerobic digestion.
That way, it saves material resources, energy and CO2 emissions by avoiding the extraction, processing and use of virgin raw materials and fossil fuels and providing a local, reliable and secure source, FEAD said.
The waste management sector is almost CO2 neutral and will become a net CO2 saver
According to the association, Europe’s waste-to-energy (WtE) plants can currently supply 18 million people with electricity and 15.2 million inhabitants with heat. There are now 260 WtE facilities in the EU.
The waste management sector is almost CO2 neutral and will become a net CO2 saver with huge avoidance potential, FEAD stressed. However, it asked for “positive contributions” to fulfil its role and achieve full capacities.
In particular, FEAD called for the preservation of the status of biodegradable waste in the Renewable Energy Directive, recognition of energy recovery from selectively collected, residual, non-hazardous waste in the EU taxonomy, and the implementation of measures that foster recovery and recycling markets in the EU.
Peter Kurth, FEAD President, said the European waste management sector has a role to play in the decarbonization process and in avoiding the combustion of fossil fuels and the use of virgin raw materials.
“It has a role to play in the promotion of a circular economy by producing secondary raw materials and safely treating non-recyclable waste; and it has a role to play in the energy independence of the EU by providing energy from a local, reliable, and safe source,” he added.