Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Danish Eco City proves waste management can reverse greenhouse trend

Date:
December 10, 2009
Source:
SAGE Publications UK
Summary:
Cities can progress from consuming energy and emitting greenhouse gases to actually producing energy while saving on GHG emissions, due to substitution of fossil fuels elsewhere. These findings are based on research in the city of Aalborg in Northern Denmark.

Cities can progress from consuming energy and emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) to actually producing energy while saving on GHG emissions, due to substitution of fossil fuels elsewhere. These findings are based on research in the city of Aalborg in Northern Denmark, published this week in Waste Management & Research, published by SAGE.

Related Articles


Cities following similar waste management strategies are already having a far-reaching impact on GHG emissions in some regions of Europe.

Given the global interest in GHG emissions it is perhaps surprising that to date few scientists have produced studies that measure the impact of waste treatment system changes over the longer term. Tjalfe Poulsen and Jens Aage Hansen from Aalborg University in Denmark used historical data from their own municipality of Aalborg to gain a broader, longer term overview of how a 'joined-up' approach to waste impacts GHG emissions. The assessment included sewage sludge, food waste, yard waste and other organic waste (including paper and plastic).

Aalborg's citizens have already implemented a package of measures to take on waste that benefits the environment. In 1970 Aalborg's municipal organic waste management system resulted in net GHG emissions with methane from landfill accounting for almost 100%. But between 1970 and 2005, the city changed its waste treatment strategy to include yard waste composting, with the city's remaining organic waste incinerated for combined heat and power production. Of this, waste incineration contributed 80% to net energy production and GHG turnover, wastewater treatment (including sludge digestion) contributed another 10%, while other waste treatment processes used (composting, transport, and land application of treated waste) had minor impacts.

"Generally incineration with or without energy production and biogas production with energy extraction are the two most important processes for the overall energy balance mainly due to the substitution of fossil fuel-based energy," says Poulsen.

Poulsen and Hansen calculate that the energy potential tied up in municipal organic waste in Denmark is equivalent to 5% of the country's total energy consumption including transport. The Aalborg municipality represents about four percent of the Danish population.

The researchers also looked forward to 2020, and predict that further improvements are possible by reducing energy consumed by wastewater treatment (for aeration), increasing anaerobic digestion and incineration process efficiency and source separating food waste for anaerobic co-digestion.

Aalborg's progress shows how far reaching waste management can be in reaching energy and GHG goals, and should offer encouragement to other cities embarking on greener waste management strategies for the future.

Within the European Union (EU), municipal waste management has already reduced GHG emissions significantly, from 64 to 28 million tonnes CO2 per year between 1990 and 2007, which is equivalent to a drop from 130 to 60 kg CO2 each year per capita. The EU municipal waste sector will achieve 18 percent of the reduction target set for Europe before 2012 according to the Kyoto agreement. The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) discusses these findings in its Waste & Climate White Paper, due for publication in December. Looking forward, between 2012 and 2020 the EU municipal waste sector will become a net saver of GHG emissions according to current predictions. Aalborg is not alone among Northern European cities where citizens are already reducing overall GHG emissions thanks to optimised waste management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications UK. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tjalfe G. Poulsen and Jens Aage Hansen. Assessing the impacts of changes in treatment technology on energy and greenhouse gas balances for organic waste and wastewater treatment using historical data. Waste Management & Research, 2009; 27 (9): 861 DOI: 10.1177/0734242X09349557

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications UK. "Danish Eco City proves waste management can reverse greenhouse trend." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130103634.htm>.
SAGE Publications UK. (2009, December 10). Danish Eco City proves waste management can reverse greenhouse trend. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130103634.htm
SAGE Publications UK. "Danish Eco City proves waste management can reverse greenhouse trend." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130103634.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

You Won't Be Driving Tesla's Mystery Product

You Won't Be Driving Tesla's Mystery Product

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a new product line will debut April 30, but it&apos;s not a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Myanmar&apos;s second biggest city of Mandalay and heads for China&apos;s Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colombian Project Transforms Old Tires Into Green Housing

Colombian Project Transforms Old Tires Into Green Housing

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) — To put a roof over their heads and help the environment, residents near Bogota are building houses out of recycled bottles and old tires. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins