What About Ash?
Every downstream waste process generates some amount of waste—meaning there is a residue of material that cannot be processed. For example, paper recycling generates a residue of clay and calcium carbonate from the fillers added when the paper is manufactured, as well as shortened paper fibers that are reaching the end of their useful life.
EfW facilities generate an ash residue composed of the noncombustible material in wastes and, to a lesser extent, materials added for air pollution control, such as activated carbon and lime. These residues for downstream waste and recycling processes are generally not considered when evaluating zero-waste-to-landfill claims. We are exploring new ways to reuse and recover more materials from our ash. Many members of the European Union support the reuse of ash from EfW facilities.
For more information on how we manage our ash, please see “Putting Ash to Work.”