Staying on top of the waste mountain

By Christian BlockMike Zenari Switch to German for original article

Less waste overall ended up in the Sidor incinerator last year. But that's not the end of the road for our residual waste. Meanwhile, Covid-19 is once again raising the question of infectious waste disposal.

Whoever, wherever, isn't relieved to have the assurance that, week after week, someone will come by and empty the black garbage can? No questions asked. Even if we pay for this service.

But what actually happens to the things that no longer have any use for the ordinary citizen? One person who should know is Patrick Christophory. The engineer is one of four employees at Sidor, the waste syndicate of the municipalities in the cantons of Luxembourg, Esch and Capellen. The small team is the link between the municipalities and the operator of the waste incineration plant in Leudelange, Energy from Waste.

Up to 600 tons of household, bulky and commercial waste are delivered here every day. Trucks dump the residual waste, mattresses, old sofas, plastic furniture or carpeting into a large hall. The waste is then transported to its destination in portions by crane: At temperatures of at least 850 degrees, the residual waste is incinerated. This amounts to around 165,000 tons per year. A huge mountain of waste that virtually disappears through thermal recycling. "People often forget that it's sanitization", Christophory notes. As long as the general waste volume cannot be drastically reduced, the alternative would be a landfill with all its climate and environment damaging consequences. But surely no one wants that.

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