Waste Incineration in Asia
According to the World Bank, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation is going to double by 2025, keeping in mind that OECD countries are still producing the majority of that waste.
In Asia the current average waste generation is approximately 0.9 kg/capita/day and is set to increase to 1.5 kg/capita/day as the economy develops. The current waste production in Asia stands approximately at 738,000 ton/day and will increase to 1,865,000 ton/day in 2025. The waste disposal in this region will be one of the major challenges in the years to come.
Waste incineration is not a low cost technology and investment in this technology should be targeted carefully. MSW incineration should only be applied to waste which cannot be recycled in a way that creates usable products and at the same time eliminate pollution. In other words you don’t want to spend money to burn products which could be used or sold elsewhere.
That said, if a recycling process generates in itself harmful waste or products which have no market value (e.g polluted compost, mixed waste as residue of the RDF separation), and as a result these residues need to be landfilled, it is preferable to directly incinerate MSW since incineration maximizes the reduction of waste and destroys pollutants and plastics before they get distributed in the environment.