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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Is this the future for waste?

High-tech waste management solution showcased to UAE’s municipalities.

Using waste to produce energy was the message at an event held last month by Dulsco waste management company.

Speaking at the event, Holger Franke, head of waste disposal solutions, MVV Umwelt, a German company that specialises in converting non-recyclable waste into energy, explained the benefits: "Some 40-50% of waste isn't recyclable. Instead of dumping this waste into a landfill where it will decompose to produce methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, it is better to incinerate it, producing less harmful carbon dioxide, with the added benefit of gaining energy from it."

The waste is burned at temperatures hot enough to destroy harmful toxins and the steam created from the heated feedwater generates electricity.

There are already 66 waste-to-energy plants in Germany, where the dumping of biodegradable waste is forbidden. A single incineration plant can provide 200,000 MWh of electricity a year, enough to power 40,000 households.

"This would be the perfect solution for Dubai which produces six times the amount of waste per person as Germany. You solve the waste problem, you create energy and conserve other resources like oil and gas. The slag that is left over from the incineration can be used for construction, so nothing is wasted," he added.

MVV Umwelt is based in Mannheim and its incineration plants provide electricity for 1.2 million residents in Germany.

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