The waste management sector could help soften the blow of the energy crisis as it can potentially produce more energy than it currently does, according to EU trade organisation FEAD.
Brussels-based FEAD, which represents 3,000 waste management companies, said on July 27 that the waste sector could play a “fundamental role” in ending the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and tackling the climate crisis, as it does not at present operate at “full capacity” to produce and save energy.
The association claims the sector could play an essential role in helping the EU meet its goals as recycling recovery can save resources, reduce emissions and energy use, as well as prevent the use of new raw materials and fossil fuels.
FEAD also said backing electricity and heat produced from waste through incineration and anaerobic digestion would give Europe the opportunity to “diversify” its energy supply.
Peter Kurth, FEAD’s president, said: “The European waste management sector has a role to play in the decarbonisation of our society, avoiding the combustion of fossil fuels and the use of virgin raw materials.
“It has a role to play in the promotion of a circular economy by producing secondary raw materials and safely treating non-recyclable waste, and it has a role to play in the energy independence of the EU, by providing energy from a local, reliable, safe source.
“This essential role needs to be consistently recognised across the EU legislation and its requirements clearly and realistically established with a holistic approach.”
To that end, FEAD has made a list of demands calling on the EU to recognise the sector’s positive contributions and to be eligible for any relevant regulatory tools.
In addition, FEAD has demanded the recognition of “energy recovery recovery from selectively collected, residual, non-hazardous waste” as a process which play an integral and substantial role in aiding the transition to a circular economy.