Umweltschutzgerechte Verwertung nicht etablierter Stoffströme in Abfallverbrennungsanlagen
New life-cycle management legislation in Germany in the last two decades has led to a rise in material recycling. Recovery for energy use is ranked lower within the five-level waste management hierarchy. This invites speculation that waste incineration plants may have to shut down due to overcapacity. However, many plants have become essential suppliers of electric power and heat to their regions. The above analysis ignores the fact that other legislation beyond the waste management sector might well trigger new material flows for energy use. Noteworthy in this context is the planned ban on the use of sewage sludge as agricultural fertiliser, as well as laws implementing the reversal of energy policy towards use of renewables. The latter measures will in future release fuels previously burned in coal-fired power stations for other energy uses; there will be an increasing demand for energy saving insulating materials in the construction sector; and waste materials from the repowering of wind turbines will appear on the market. Other factors to consider are the efforts of neighbouring European countries to reduce landfill dumping, which - for a time at least - will see treated waste being imported into Germany. An additional factor in terms of waste generation is population trend. Contrary to earlier forecasts, Germany's population has been growing since 2011, and so the number of people creating waste has also increased. Increasing urbanisation is a trend which is impeding legal measures aimed at developing material recycling.