Waste-to-energy provides the fourth “R” in a comprehensive solid waste management program: reduction, reuse, recycling, and energy recovery. The benefits of full-scale implementation of energy recovery as a final step in waste management are evident:
- conservation of natural resources and fossil fuels
- drastic landfill reduction
- lower greenhouse emissions
The need for an integrated solid waste management strategy in a city, state, or country becomes more evident as that region’s economy grows and the standard of living improves. With increases in consumption, the amount of waste generated also increases. This creates stresses on the land used for disposal, can lead to environmental pollution, and can be detrimental to public health if the waste is not disposed properly.