When Waste Disappears, or More Waste Please!


Energy-from-waste plants in places like Britain were designed help reduce waste and carbon emissions, but they have had unintended side-effects. As Alexander’s essay shows, turning waste into energy does not liberate us from waste itself. On the contrary, the very energy plants that have made waste “disappear” by recasting it as a resource have, paradoxically, led to an increase of waste: in order to operate a new generation of large energy plants, demand for waste has risen and a tendency to ship waste to fewer and ever larger plants has set in.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7391