The solid waste industry is frequently asked how waste-to-energy (WTE) technology fares on an emissions/environmental basis in comparison with three most common sources of fuel for energy generation:
Based on recent literature and project data:
- WTE facilities emit significantly less carbon dioxide
than any of the fossil fuel power plants.
- They emit significantly less sulfur dioxide than coalfired
or oil-fired power plants but more than power plants using natural gas.
- With respect to nitrogen oxide emissions, WTE facilities are comparable to coal- and oil-fired power plants, but somewhat higher than natural gas-fired power plants.
Based on this information, the EPA has concluded that WTE power plants produce electricity “with less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity.”