The annual environmental report from the resource management company Geminor shows that the company saved emissions of around 285,000 tonnes of CO2 last year. This corresponds to the annual emissions from 148,000 cars.
The international waste and resource management company Geminor carries out an annual survey to establish the environmental impact of the company’s services. The report for 2018 now gives an indication of the positive environmental effects of recycling: Overall, the material recovery and waste-to-energy production gives a total environmental benefit of as much as 284,700 tonnes of CO2. The figure is calculated by including Geminor’s emissions in connection with international sea and land transport.
The services provided an average positive climate factor of 0.21 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of waste. Recycling of waste wood gives the largest climate surplus, according to the report, and material recycling provides approximately 12% better climate effect than energy-from-waste (EfW) production.
The savings in emissions of 284,700 tonnes of CO2 corresponds to emissions equivalent to the total annual activities of around 30,000 EU citizens – or emissions from as much as 148,000 cars. This shows the significant climate contribution that waste recovery delivers, says CEO of Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.
“In 2018 we handled 1.36 million tonnes of waste in the form of RefuseDerived Fuel, Solid Recovered Fuel, household waste, wood, rubber, plastic, metal and hazardous materials – waste that was used for material and energy recovery all over Europe. It is a positive development that the waste treatment leads to less emissions, and especially an increase in recycling of paper products and waste wood is good for the environment,” says Kjetil Vikingstad.
Both this and previous reports show that sea transport of treated waste is more climate-friendly than land transport – all factors included. Geminor has for several years used sea transport for waste wood from Western Norway to waste-to-energy facilities in Sweden. Sea transport of secondary fuels from the UK has also increased significantly in the past 2 years.
“In total, the report shows that our maritime transport created emissions of around 400 tonnes of CO2 in 2018. Although the amount of waste transported over sea has increased by 80% over the past two years, emissions only increased by 8%. All sea transport is undertaken using return load or ‘dead leg’ logistics, using vessels on their return journey from cargo deliveries. The majority of our road transport also uses return load logistics,” Vikingstad says.
“Nevertheless, the transport of waste around Europe for material and energy recovery has a much better impact on climate change than just depositing the waste,” concludes CEO of Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.