Waste Company Transformed to a Power Station

Recycle, reuse, waste, rubbish, circular economy, power plant, Amsterdam

Every day, 600 trucks full of garbage arrive. Sometimes they transport special waste, such as out of date fire extinguishers, waste from hospitals, old refrigerators or electricity cables. Two people are fulltime disassembling extinguishers.

‘Waste is great! “Susanna van der Heide calls from the Waste and Energy Company (AEB) in Amsterdam.

AEB transformed from a company for waste incineration into a commodity and energy company.

New products, including energy are made out of bags full of garbage and other waste.

Incinerator AEB surges 99.9% water vapor

The waste incineration plants emit 99.9 percent water vapor. That some other 0.01 percent mainly consists of hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

We produce less than the EU standards for harmful emissions.

Remaining ashes are processed  into asphalt

The plant provides 20,000 homes with heat power, generated by waste incineration. In 2040 it should be enough for 230 000 homes.

In addition the central produces one million MWh of electricity per year. It is expected that this percentage will be doubled by 2023.

The percentage of reused waste will increase in coming years. Now about 10 percent of the bulky household waste is recycled. In the future it should grow to 60 percent.

Circular economy

AEB sees itself as the vital link in the so-called circular economy and wants to go more and more involved in the recycling of raw materials. Burning waste is not their primary goal.

Every day, 600 trucks full of garbage arrive. Sometimes they transport special waste, such as out of date fire extinguishers, waste from hospitals, old refrigerators or electricity cables.
Two people are fulltime disassembling extinguishers.

There’s a lot of material that is still usable

  • The copper is separated from the rubber hose.
  • Everyday, dozens of employees are cutting chargers open, to extract the copper.
  • All fire extinguishers are emptied and dismantled, to sell the copper.

Water paint

Outside we see a container filled with buckets of white paint, so called Latex.

“No one uses all 25 liters of paint. There is always a bit left. Here we separate the latex from other waste,

In the future, the company wants to dissolve the paint residues, evaporate the water and sell it again as new latex.

Positive business case

The result of all the work? “Not a million profit,” says Metz, “but it is a positive business case.

Raw materials are becoming scarce and we are recycling as much as possible.”

The strategy to recycle waste and to become a supplier of renewable energy and raw materials, is part of a reversal from 2008, when AEB foresaw that the world would face shortages of materials. Nowadays AEB is importing waste from England to operate profitably.

The next five years, the company is expected to generate five million euros per year.

Related

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