The Beauty in the Beast shows how Waste-to-Energy can help Europe in its ambition to reach climate neutrality, reduce pollution, and move towards a more circular economy.

With its five stories, the Beauty in the Beast is an invitation to look behind the surface and to better understand a sector too often overlooked in its potential.

Non-recyclable waste still accounts for around half of the whole municipal waste generation in the EU, and can only be treated by Waste-to-Energy or landfills. Waste-to-Energy(WtE) is the most sustainable solution as it prevents methane emissions and land occupation caused by landfills, and re-injects valuable resources in our society, reducing the need for a virgin generation of energy and materials.

The Beauty in the Beast campaign calls European policymakers to:

Foster a functioning secondary raw material market

As a complementary tool to separate collection and recycling, the recovery of materials in Waste-to-Energy plants helps secure Europe resources. Strong incentives, transparent quality criteria, and the setup of a viable European secondary raw material market are key to achieve this goal.

Support innovation for the treatment of non-recyclable waste

Waste-to-Energy technologies have significantly improved through the last decades and have helped export EU standards worldwide. Modern Waste-to-Energy plants showcase this know-how technologically and provide their community with innovative features.

Recognise Waste to Energy’s role for residual waste treatment

Sound waste management systems rely on a proper mix of different options across the waste hierarchy. Based on this synergy, non-recyclable waste treatment capacity should not be overlooked to prevent this waste from being dumped into landfills or made someone’s else problem on the other side of the world.

Help secure affordable energy and low-carbon fuels in Europe

Waste-to-Energy plants turn residual waste into heat, fuels, or electricity which can be used for various industrial processes – among others to produce hydrogen. Waste-to-Energy’s contribution to the provision of continuous energy and low-carbon fuels should be taken into account, as securing affordable energy in Europe will be essential to the green transition’s success.

Make carbon capture economically viable for waste management

Greenhouse gas emissions in the waste management sector could be first reduced by producing less waste. Yet, global waste generation is expected to increase by around 70% by 2050! Implementing CCUS technologies in Waste-to-Energy plants should be supported to reach climate-neutrality in Europe without sacrificing the safe treatment of non-recyclable waste.

Take a journey through five stories to discover the hidden beauties of Waste-to-Energy technologies.