Keywords: air pollution, cement industry, waste incineration, waste disposal, France, Germany, environmental pollution, calorific value, economic viability, social legitimacy
Waste incineration in cement plants: constraints and development opportunities (a French-German comparison)
Is it possible to reconcile economic and ecological concerns? This article examines, through a French-German comparison, the case of obtaining a calorific value for wastes used as substitute fuels in cement kilns. On the one hand, this new strategy for obtaining needed inputs offers to the cement industry an economic opportunity for lowering production costs (the main determinant of competitivity in this sector). On the other hand, the controlled incineration of wastes allows the cement industry to present an 'environmentally friendly' image (savings of primary energy inputs, reductions in solid waste disposal requirements). Commercial decisions to invest in waste incineration options therefore must take account of a variety of supply cost, regulatory, and social factors that render uncertain the economic viability and social legitimacy of the choice.