Waste-to-Energy plants burn household and similar waste that remains after waste prevention and recycling.
From this waste the plants generate energy. This can be in the form of steam, electricity or hot water. The electricity is fed into the grid and distributed to the end-users, the hot water, depending on local infrastructure can be sent to a nearby district heating (or cooling) network to heat (or cool) homes, hospitals, offices etc., and the steam can be used by the nearby industry in their production processes.
Waste-to-Energy is a hygienic method of treating waste, reducing its volume by about 90%.
In a Waste-to-Energy plant apart from the waste itself no additional fuel is needed to maintain the combustion process. Additional fuel is only used for the start up and shut down phases.
Modern Waste-to-Energy plants are clean and safe, meeting the most strict emission limit values placed on any industry set out in the European Waste Incineration Directive