Resource Conservation

In Germany waste has to be treated in order to make use of the valuable ingredients.

Recycling of Metals

The recycling of ferrous metal out of normal household waste saves about 10 to 15 Mega Joules (MJ) per kilogramm (kg). That would be equivalent to 1/3 liter mineral oil. In the case of aluminum 190 MJ/kg are saved and in the case of copper it’s an amount of 30 to 45 MJ/kg.

About 65 % of the waste input of MBT Neumünster becomes secondary fuel. The high quality refuse derived fuel (RDF) is used in the combined heat and power plant (CHP) of the municipal utilities Neumünster (SWN). It  produces long-distance heating and electricity for about 20,000 homes in Neumünster. 150,000 tons of RDF save 89,000 tons of coal every year. At the same time the environment is spared an amount of 110,000 CO2-equivalents that would have been emitted if coal had been burnt.

The biological drying procedure causes a loss of water and organic material of about 25 %. Roughly 3.5 % metals are extracted. And only 6 % of the input is landfilled. The landfill material consists of rocks, sand and sheds. Disturbing substances like mattresses, ropes and fishing nets make up an amount of up to 0.5 %. They are transported to other waste treatment plants for further treatment.

An energy efficiency analysis regularly checks the energy consumption during the production of RDF at MBT Neumünster including the transportation of the RDF and the by-products. The analysis is conducted by the independent institute iba (Ingenieurbüro Abfallwirtschaft und Energietechnik, Hannover). The results show that MBT Neumünster makes use of 56.4 % of the energy stored in the municipal solid waste that the plant treats. This means through production of RDF and its replacement of coal at the CHP plant in Neumünster about 56 % of the energy stored in people’s waste bins find their way back to them as electricity and/or long-distance heating. Also, the net primary energy produced from the RDF has been calculated. Each ton of municipal solid waste treated at MBT Neumünster produces 1.568 kWh (electricity and heating). This places MBT Neumünster at the top of a ranking list of MBTs in Germany.