Industry pleased with MEP vote on waste incineration directive

The European Parliament has rejected tighter dust limits for waste incineration and coincineration plants in its second vote on the EU Waste Incineration Directive.

The Directive will introduce EU limits on emissions from coincineration plants for the first time and will tighten existing limits for incineration facilities. MEPs have voted in favour of the Environment Committee’s nitrogen oxides limit – 800mg/m3 for existing plants and 500mg/m3 for new plants – but rejected the Committee’s proposal to reduce dust emissions to 15mg/m3.

Industry has reacted well to the news that MEPs agreed to a higher dust restriction of 30mg/m3. “We consider the Common Position to be tough on our industry, but we’re relieved that it isn’t tougher,” Jean-Marie Chandelle, chief executive of the European Cement Association (Cembrau), told edie. Chandelle admits that the threat of dust emissions limits of lower than 30mg/m3 was the industry’s biggest worry going into the vote. “There are plenty of studies that demonstrate that 30mg/m3 is optimal,” says Chandelle.

When it comes to NOx emissions Cembrau believes the cement industry can meet the 800mg/m3 limit for existing facilities, but only just. “800mg/m3 is tough on the industry – some plants cannot meet it and therefore will not be able to use waste as alternative fuel,” Mr Hjorth, Cembrau’s technical director, told edie.

The only significant worry for the waste incineration industry – but not the cement industry, which does not use chlorine in its coincineration – was the European Parliament’s inclusion of an amendment instructing incineration of “wastes with a content of more than 1% of halogenated organic substances, expressed as chlorine” to undergo a temperature rise to 1,100°C for at least two seconds”.

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