” I only feel angry when I see waste, when I see people throwing away thing we could use” -Mother Teresa
Waste is being generated at most levels by most people in many forms. The World Energy Council in its report has said that the global waste would be generated at an estimated level of 6 million per day by 2025. The generation of waste can be either reduced or there are alternate ways to waste disposal that can be utilized for the best of human society. One such method is the waste to energy technique or the WtE .
The rapid industrialization, the mass migration to cities and an increase in population has added to the need increasing the negative effects of the advancement and WtE is something that can help in the recovery of waste in the form of energy through thermal and non thermal methods like pyrolysis ,anaerobic digestion etc. All these insists upon dual benefits in cutting down harmful emissions and at the same time resulting in less waste production as inscribed at the top of the methods used to alleviate the waste products .
Waste to Energy technique is by which the chemicals in the waste are converted into electricity, steam , heat or other fuels like methanol, ethanol, etc thus initiating energy production . Waste used in WtE are prominently the municipal solid waste or the MSW.
The global WtE market size is 35 billion USD in 2019 and is probably to reach 50 billion USD by 2027. Europe is the largest market that is generating about 50 percent of the total market revenue. China investing about 300 WtE plants is growing at a fast pace in this energy conversion process. The south east Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand , Vietnam has about 6 plants installed on a trial basis and is about to grow in the coming years. Whereas India is having 6 such plants installed .
As of now WtE is the best waste volume reduction process and a better mitigation process in reducing the climate change and other ill effects to the environment. The energy produce from this technique has contributed to the daily activities of the world like providing a helping hand in production of electricity ,steam etc.
The upcoming future to this technique is growing with better ways to eliminate the methane produced due to the landfills and is a better substitute against fossil fuel fired greenhouse gases that further contribute towards the climate change. The Kyoto Protocol has also underlined the importance of using this technique in helping eliminate the diverse effects of global warming by the provision of tradable credits. It is also a means to reduce the poisonous gas , Carbon dioxide.
The slow implementation of WtE in India is due to the primary installation costs added with the inefficiency in policy implementation despite the speculated growth in the market. The low level compliance in the Solid Waste Management Rules causes the segregation of the MSW an uneasy task in the plant premises. The lack in policy conduciveness in collecting garbage and segregating them has also added to the plight of inefficient policy implementation in India. The mass protests against Okhla plant in Delhi is seen as a turn by the officials to induce further pollution in Delhi added to the worries caused by stubble burning and the static weather of the capital.
Despites all these flaws it is said that state can contribute to the functioning of waste to energy pants by throwing an example of the plant in Gujarat which is of 100 MW.
There are other advanced methods used t speed up the existing process are Hydrothermal Carbonization HTC causing hydro char and a Denton Liquid Theory to zero waste by Germany.
All these along with the better policy implementation and citizen aricipation ca help in better functioning of the plants along with moving towards the newly invented technologies thus helping us to be a part to fulfill the sustainable developmet golas of 13 related to climate change and protection of life on land and land under water through sdg 14, 15 respectively. In short the WtE technique is the that induces in us he real meaning towards a better waste elimination of utilizatin like that of Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in Chandigarh and the problem of pacific garbage can also be solved by meaningful discussions of the countries regarding it along with giving right awareness and mindset change thus accelerating ones thoughts and ideas towards the need of environment and human life.