Denmark's Waste-to-Energy Plant: A Global Model of Sustainable Design
With China no longer accepting imports of post-consumer recyclables from the United States, California’s waste facilities are struggling to manage the sudden increase in volume and demand on its waste disposal facilities. Waste-to-energy conversion plants—a staple of European circular economic models to address waste management and reach decarbonization goals— face, despite success in Europe, significant public relations and political challenges in U.S. cities.
To better understand the latest innovative science behind waste-fired power plants globally, TPR recently toured Amager Bakke, a waste-to-energy plant (and, yes, ski slope attraction) in Copenhagen, Denmark; and, spoke with Bettina Kamuk, Global Market Director for Ramboll, who explained how the Copenhagen facility meets air quality and emissions standards while providing low-carbon energy and recreational activity to its surrounding community.
"The Amager Bakke waste-to-energy (WtE) facility, which we engineered and designed, supplies one-third of all heat to Copenhagen, and is part of Denmark’s 2010 national strategy to reduce all dependency on fossil fuels by 2030. The Amager Bakke WtE facility is owned and operated by Amager Resource Centre (ARC), a five city consortia, to supply low-carbon electricity to 550,000 people and district heating to 140,000 households.
This plant replaced a 45-year-old facility. ARC’s objectives were to replace the aging lines of this facility, produce a lower emission, more efficient plant that would have a higher recovery of materials like metals, and be a beacon for the city, open to the public. Everyone knows that we are building a ski slope on the roof and that this facility is in the center of the city. We don’t hide what we’re doing. We show what we’re doing with our waste."
Read the full interview on The Planning Report.