Energy Recovery from Solid Waste

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Environmental Engineering: Solid Waste Engineering and Management: Volume 3


The growing amount of solid waste (SW) and the related waste disposal problems urge the development of a more sustainable waste management practice. The organic wastes that are generated include food scraps, yard debris, paper, wood, and textile byproducts. According to most studies, almost all landfill gas is created by the breakdown of organic waste in combination with the naturally occurring bacteria in the soil that is used to cover the landfill. They are inevitably linked to the treatment and disposal of solid waste. In this instance, treatment is utilized to restore or recover important materials or energy, control waste generation, or manage trash disposal before it is deposited or discarded in landfills. A disposal site where solid trash, such as paper, glass, and metal, is buried between layers of dirt and other materials, such that land around the site is less contaminated. Waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies are being developed globally. The essential concepts of available technologies and several specific technologies’ processes are summarized. Technologically sophisticated processes (e.g., plasma gasification) gain increased attention, with an emphasis on energy and material recovery potential. This chapter ends with a comparison of the various technologies, highlighting variables impacting their application and operational suitability. More budgetary allocation for technical support by the government is also recommended in this chapter. This will help to promote solid waste management by reducing, reusing, and recycling waste. It will also help to retain employees by providing a good wage, benefits, and training. As a result, WtE technologies have the potential to make a significant contribution to the growth of renewable energy while also reducing landfilling expenses and the associated environmental implications. However, deciding between the two options necessitates further financial, technological, and environmental examination using a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.