Power Opportunity From Tons Of Waste

Ngebray.com,- A single person will produce one ton a year of waste. And so if you look at the US, for example, we have roughly 350 million people. We produce roughly 350 million tons a year of waste. In addition to that, you have waste that’s produced from the corporate sector and the industrial sector. All that waste needs to be dealt with as part of a sustainable waste program.

So an energy from waste plant basically takes waste that would otherwise go into a landfill, and puts it through a combustion process that heats up water, produces steam, and the steam can be sold. The steam can also go through a steam turbine which produces renewable power.

Picture from rethinkingprosperity.org

So if you look at the US from a waste and recycling standpoint, the business value is about $75 billion. The energy from waste sector globally is about $25 billion. The biggest companies by market capitalization in the waste-management industry are Waste Management ($33.2 billion), Republic Services ($21.6 billion) and Waste Connections ($16.9 billion).

Back in the 2011 timeframe, only about 20% of the S&P 500 companies had sustainability reports. And if you fast forward to today, that’s about 80% of the companies. Companies like Subaru or Nestle work with our company in order to take their waste to produce renewable power.

The advantage of energy from waste versus landfills is when you put waste to into a landfill, it basically decomposes over the next 40, 50 years. It produces methane as a greenhouse gas is about 35 times worse than CO2.

If you think about wind and solar, you need weather to cooperate in order for that renewable power to be produced. Energy for waste relies on waste production. So rather than burying it back in the Earth’s surface, taking that fuel source and recovering the British thermal units from that fuel source is a way to produce renewable power. There’s no reason to waste the waste.