Greentech Lead America: The U.S. waste conversion market
will reach $26 billion by 2016. New technologies are rapidly proving their
commercial viability, despite public opinion backlash and perceived risk
Waste conversion is a viable answer to the waste problem
spreading over the US. Landfills face stringent regulation of methane collection
and incineration is hindered by tough regulations on emissions. Technologies
such as gasification, anaerobic digestion, landfill gas and waste to biofuels
are the future of the waste-to-energy industry.
The U.S. trend towards sustainable practices has brought
other waste conversion technologies under the spotlight. Anerobic digestion
seems to be leading the way through biogas production.
Despite these encouraging forecasts, there are a number
of challenges facing the waste conversion industry. Risk profiles of waste
conversion technologies can be high, meaning project implementation is
The grossly misinformed backlash of public opinion
hinders the permitting phase of development. The end result is that very few
waste conversion technologies reach full scale commercial viability.
According to a recent SWANA report, developers are
convinced demand for MSW conversion technologies will increase. Waste-to-energy
facilities are economically sound investments that provide multiple financial
and environmental benefits to the communities that utilize them.