Sarah Foster, Principal, CFP Associates
Many communities are considering thermal treatment options for management of non-recyclable municipal solid waste. Interest in these projects is increasing for a variety of reasons, including efforts to develop more sustainable, energy-producing solid waste management solutions, divert waste from landfills and reduce costs of long-range transport of solid waste. Despite these motivating factors, and decades of positive experience in the operation of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in North America and Europe, new thermal waste treatment projects often encounter opposition due to concerns about potential public health and environmental impacts.
This webinar will provide an update of findings from studies conducted to address health and environmental impacts for different types of WTE technologies (mass burn, gasification, plasma gasification and pyrolysis). It will include an overview of five main types of studies that can be used to evaluate health and environmental impacts around WTE plants: risk assessments, epidemiological studies, environmental monitoring studies, biomonitoring studies and life cycle assessments. It will also touch on the strengths and limitations of each methodology.
Included in the presentation will be a comparison of the results from many risk assessments that have been conducted for WTE technologies over the past decade relative to applicable regulatory guidelines and some risks associated with everyday life. The webinar will conclude with a summary of lessons learned from the available database of studies.
Audience members will be able to:
Recognize different types of studies that can be conducted to evaluate public health and environmental impacts WTE facilities
Understand findings from the current database of studies conducted to assess WTE plants
Be informed about the conclusions of risk assessments that have been conducted for conventional and other thermal treatment technologies