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Incineration in the Netherlands versus landfill in the UK

Environmental analysis of UK household waste disposal in the Netherlands

CE Delft was commissioned by Twence to carry out an environmental analysis of two scenarios for the processing of British household waste (or waste of similar quality): 
1.    disposal in a nearby landfill site in the UK;
2.    incineration at Twence’s AEC plant in the Netherlands.

The environmental impact of disposal of 1 tonne of UK household waste in the respective scenarios was analysed using the ReCiPe Single Score method and the IPCC climate impact methodology, focusing on two phases of the life cycle:  transport and final disposal (i.e. incineration or landfill).

The conclusion of the study is that incineration of average British residual waste at the Twence facility is environmentally superior to landfill in the UK. The impact of the additional transport by ship and truck from the UK to the Twence plant does not outweigh the environmental benefits of incineration over landfill. This conclusion is valid under the adopted assumptions, particularly concerning the composition of the waste.


Matthijs Otten

Delft, February 2012

the report (Dutch)


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