The Benefits of Waste-to-Energy

By: Chandra Robinson

Once waste leaves your organization’s facility, where does it go? Beyond industrial disposal by your waste management partner, it’s probably not something you give a lot of thought to. It’s time you did, though, because many companies (including Stericycle Environmental Solutions) give waste a green second chapter by converting it into environmentally-friendly energy.

This is made possible through a process called waste-to-energy, which generates energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. Once waste undergoes this process, it gets converted into clean energy, which in turn powers homes and businesses.

The waste-to-energy process

Here’s how the process works: first, waste is received in a negative pressure bunker to control odor. Next, it’s fed into a self-sustaining combustion chamber where heat from the combustion boils water inside a boiler to create steam, which turns a turbine to produce electricity. Emissions are then cleaned using state-of-the-art pollution control equipment, and any residual material is recycled, beneficially reused or disposed of properly.

Waste-to-energy vs. landfills

Waste-to-energy has many benefits, including its tremendous potential to produce renewable energy (one ton of waste can yield between 550 and 700 kilowatt hours (KWh – enough to power a house for 2+ weeks). And compared to landfills, waste-to-energy is far superior, as proven by the comparisons below:

Waste-to-energy results at Stericycle Environmental Solutions

Stericycle has been taking advantage of waste-to-energy technology for many years. During that time, we’ve generated 233,000 KWh of power, eliminated 425 tons of CO2 emissions and recycled ten tons of metal. 

Waste-to-energy is just one of the ways Stericycle Environmental Solutions demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and providing the best possible healthcare waste services. Find out more about Stericycle Environmental Solutions’ waste management programs and how we are using the latest technologies to increase sustainability.