Welcome!

News Feed Item

Study: Municipal Solid Waste Could Contribute Significant Supply of Alternative Energy to U.S. Businesses, Communities

Experience in Europe Signals Room for U.S. Growth in Energy Conversion Technologies

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 07/09/14 -- A new study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University has found that if all of the municipal solid waste (MSW) that is currently put into landfills each year in the United States were diverted to waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, they could generate enough electricity to power nearly 14 million homes annually, or 12 percent of the U.S. total. According to the study, this shift also could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 123 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, an amount comparable to taking more than 23 million cars off our roads.

The new study, "2014 Energy and Economic Value of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), including and Non-recycled Plastics (NRP), Currently Landfilled in the Fifty States," found that the recovery of resources from waste, and hence, diverted from landfill, in the United States increased between 2008 and 2011. The recycling of materials from MSW improved by 18.5 million tons, and the tonnage of materials processed by WTE facilities grew by 3.8 million tons during this period.

Key statistics from the study are illustrated in a new infographic, "The Power of Waste."

The study's authors noted that, while some individual states have invested in infrastructure to boost recycling and energy recovery from MSW -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshire topped the list -- overall, European countries have set a much higher bar. For example, the study calculated that if the United States were to deploy district heating systems similar to countries such as Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway, our current waste stream could provide heat for close to 10 million additional homes.

"Modern technologies that convert waste into energy present a good opportunity to significantly reduce our reliance on landfills, lower our carbon footprint, and provide renewable energy to businesses and communities," said Nickolas Themelis, director of the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University. "Currently, many developed nations are further along in embracing and expanding their use of energy recovery technologies as a vital part of their sustainable resource management systems. This presents an important opportunity for city planners and policy makers in the United States."

Sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the study is based on data obtained in Columbia University's 2014 Survey of Waste Management in the U.S., which looked at waste management statistics during 2011, and from MSW characterization studies in several states.

Engineers at the Earth Engineering Center also calculated the quantity of non-recycled plastics -- a subset of MSW that remains after plastics that can be economically recycled have been extracted --available for energy conversion. This latest study expands on an earlier EEC study (published in 2011 and based on data from 2008) by including (in addition to plastics in MSW) plastics that are not counted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as MSW but that are disposed in landfill, such as construction demolition debris and auto shredder residue.

According to the study's authors, plastics represent 11 percent of the total U.S. waste stream. The total recovery rate for plastics, which includes both recycling and energy recovery, increased from 14.3 percent in 2008 to 16.6 percent in 2011. The recycling rate for plastics increased by 21 percent between 2008 and 2011 to reach nearly 2.7 million tons. The study also found that if all non-recycled plastics in the U.S. were converted to energy through facilities that use modern plastics-to-oil technologies, they could produce nearly 6 billion gallons of gasoline, enough to fuel nearly 9 million cars per year.

"Every day, plastics significantly enhance our ability to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover more of our resources," said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for ACC. "These important findings show that, while we're making progress, we have a vital opportunity to recycle and recover more of these valuable materials."

ACC's Plastics Division just released a new animated video that explores a growing number of processes that are helping to unlock the value of non-recycled used plastics -- as new materials and as energy. The video, "Beyond Recycling: Recovering the Energy in Non-Recycled Plastics," illustrates processes for recycling plastics and converting those plastics that can't be economically recycled into various forms of energy, including oil, gas, electricity and liquid and solid fuels.

About the Plastics Division
The American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division represents leading companies dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow through plastics. Ongoing innovations from America's Plastics Makers™ have led to medical advances and safety equipment that make our lives better, healthier and safer every day. And, advances in plastics are helping Americans save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease waste. Because plastics are such a valuable resource, the Plastics Division is leading efforts to "reduce, reuse, recycle and recover," including through outreach, education and access to advances in recycling technology.

www.americanchemistry.com/plastics

http://www.americanchemistry.com

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $770 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

Contact:
Jennifer Killinger
(202) 249-6619
Email: Email Contact

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Cloud-based NCLC (No-code/low code) application builder platforms empower everyone in the organization to quickly build applications and executable processes that broaden access, deepen collaboration, and enhance transparency for all team members. Line of business owners (LOBO) and operations managers know best their part of the business and their processes. IT departments are beginning to leverage NCLC platforms to empower and enable LOBOs to lead the innovation, transform the organization, an...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...