Using waste as fuel has several positive environmental impacts.
Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced
Waste replaces the use of fossil fuels, that is, coal and fuel oil, in district heat and electricity production. Energy utilisation reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by 100 000 to 200 000 tons in a year.
Westenergy, Vaasan Sähkö and Vaskiluodon Voima were granted the Climate Act 2012 reward. Reduced CO2
emissions is one result of the co-operation between the companies: because of the Westenergy Waste-to-Energy plant and Vaskiluodon Voima's modern biomass gasification plant, the carbon dioxide emissions of Finland can be reduced by 1 %.
The need for landfills decreases
Almost 90 % of all combustible non-recyclable waste can be utilised in the Waste-to-Energy plant, significantly decreasing the amount of waste disposed at landfills.
Methane emissions are reduced
As landfilling decreases, methane emissions will also decrease. Methane is over 20 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
More waste will be recycled
According to several studies, waste is recycled more efficiently when non-recyclable waste can be used for energy production. Energy utilisation and recycling go, thus, often hand in hand. In 2016, landfilling organic material will be prohibited, and Waste-to-Energy plants are, therefore, becoming more common in Finland. This will significantly reduce landfilling in Finland.