Energy Recovery

Energy recovery is the process by which solid waste is converted into feedstock materials or renewable energy. Energy recovery is happening right now, powering homes and businesses, and it’s helping to address our growing population’s biggest challenges: energy independence, waste diversion, and climate change.

Did you know...?

  • The United States currently processes 13 percent of its solid waste, recovering enough energy to power homes in five states or the equivalent of 28.6 billion barrels of crude oil.

  • Energy recovery facilities mean a lot less waste goes to landfills. Established energy recovery facilities can reduce by 80 percent the volume of waste that goes to landfill.

  • Modern energy recovery facilities are greener than ever. Today’s technology allows modern energy recovery facilities to process waste with many emissions lower than some conventional fuels processed in power plants. In fact, EPA estimates that energy recovery technology in use today helps prevent the release of 33 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

  • Plastics are high value “captured energy.” Plastics have significantly more captured energy than wood, paper or even coal.

  • Plastics help traditional energy recovery technology work better. Because plastics have a higher energy value than other components of municipal solid waste, they help to significantly increase the efficiency of the energy recovery process in traditional energy from waste facilities.


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