Materials and energy used for the construction of modern waste incineration plants were quantified. The data was collected from five incineration plants (72,000–240,000tonnes per year) built in Scandinavia (Norway, Finland and Denmark) between 2006 and 2012. Concrete for the buildings was the main material used amounting to 19,000–26,000tonnes per plant. The quantification further included six main materials, electronic systems, cables and all transportation. The energy used for the actual on-site construction of the incinerators was in the range 4000–5000MWh. In terms of the environmental burden of producing the materials used in the construction, steel for the building and the machinery contributed the most. The material and energy used for the construction corresponded to the emission of 7–14kg CO2 per tonne of waste combusted throughout the lifetime of the incineration plant. The assessment showed that, compared to data reported in the literature on direct emissions from the operation of incinerators, the environmental impacts caused by the construction of buildings and machinery (capital goods) could amount to 2–3% with respect to kg CO2 per tonne of waste combusted.
Waste Management, 2013, Vol 33, Issue 6, p. 1390-1396
Capital goods; Waste; Incineration plant; Environmental impact assessment