The combustion of plastics in the waste stream generates fossil CO2, making its presence in the waste stream bound for EfW facilities undesirable from a climate standpoint.
In addition, plastics increase the overall heat content in the waste. Higher than normal amounts of plastic in the waste can reduce the waste processing capacity of our facilities. For these reasons, we fully support plastics recycling programs as a means to get plastics out of the waste and back into the economy. However, not all plastics are recyclable and some plastics can contain persistent organic pollutants and other compounds that we do not necessarily want reintroduced into new products. For these materials, EfW facilities serve an important role of providing proper solid waste management and recovering energy value from the materials to offset the use of fossil fuels for energy purposes.