The Chinese city of Shenzhen will tackle its serious waste problem by burning 5,000 tonnes of it a day in what is on track to be the world's largest waste-to-energy plant in the world.
Measuring over a mile across, the massive structure will be built by two Danish architecht firms. Located in the outskirts of Shenzhen, the plant is expected to be complete by 2020.
The Schenzhen East Waste to Energy Plant will incinerate one third of the waste generated by the city's 20 million residents and turn it into reusable energy. Some activists groups have expressed concern over the environmental impact of the CO2 release, but the payoff is considered "worth it" with the massive dent that the Plant will make into the landfills and illegal dumps that are building up in China. Reportedly, one landfill killed dozens of people when it unexpectedly collapsed last year.
"Waste-to-energy plants are not an energy solution" says Chris Hardie from Schimidt Hammer Lassen Architects, adding that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from decomposing landfills is around double the CO2 released by incineration (source).
"They are a way of dealing with waste and using this process to generate electricity as a byproduct of the process. Cities have to move towards more recycling and reducing their waste for sure - and of course developing more sources of renewable energy. That is sort of the point we are making by proposing this be the first waste-to-energy plant that has a renewable component to it," he said.
Click here to read more and view an animated video about the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant.
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