Until the end of the Nineties this waste used to be disposed of in lanfills as undifferentiated, thus leaving small quantities of waste to separate collection of rubbish for recycling and to energy recovery. On the contrary of the other E.E.C. countries, where thermocombustion with energy recovery is since a long time a consolidated and widespread reality, home measures for the exploitation of waste materials and energy potential are still few.
A crucial turn about was determined by the Legislative Decree N.59 dated February 18th 2005, issued with the aim of raising Italy to the level of most European countries in the field of waste. The new Decree, in fact, settles an innovative strategy for the handling of waste that makes the various recovery options become integrated (recycling, fertilizer, energy recovery) in order to make it effective and efficient through a combined action.
Among the various recovery solutions instead of landfill, a leading part is played by thermal treatment technologies. Thermovalorization brings, in fact, a series of significant environmental and economic advantages and allows to maximize waste valorization.
First of all, it makes possible a remarkable decrease in the disposal into dumps: cinder and ashes production is below 10% of the volume of the waste treated. In thermovalorization plants the waste thermal content is, moreover, completely recovered, with the exception of the energy losses through smoke, cooling devices, plant walls that are common to all heating systems. The energy saved from waste by means of thermovalorization is partly used for the plant working, covering from 50 percent to 60 percent of the operational costs, and partly conveyed in the home electric network or used in the area where the plant takes place for municipal buildings heating.