Global Solutions: Building a Better World

The European Union (EU) utilizes a simple but effective approach to managing waste while also reducing GHG emissions. First, they reduce the amount of land-filled biodegradable waste (according to the EU Landfill Directive) and second, they acknowledge that WtE recovers potential energy and ferrous materials from MSW. Some countries in the EU are using the reduction of GHG emissions from WtE to meet their respective Kyoto targets. The EU and the U.S. EPA have both adopted a solid waste hierarchy that recommends reduce, reuse, recycle; Waste to Energy (WtE); and then as a last resort, landfill. The EU recognizes that WtE is a net reducer of GHGs and it has aligned its policies to take advantage of the benefits that Waste to Energy (WtE) technology provides in meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets as laid out under the Kyoto Protocol.