Waste-to-Energy 2050: clean technologies for sustainable waste management

Download the full document: ESWET_Vision2050

Check the Infographic: "Waste-to-Energy Plant of the Future"

Waste management is a crucial topic for the sustainable development of our society.

Globally, waste generation is expected to grow by roughly 60% by 2050.

The acknowledgment and cooperation of all parties involved – politics, research, technology providers, plant operators, policymakers and civil society – is essential towards the common good for the environment.


Thanks to advanced technologies, waste management is turning into an integrated waste and resource management logic where non-recyclable waste is turned into a valuable resource for the whole society.

To implement this change, the phasing out of polluting dumpsites is the first objective that should be pursued.

Our Vision 2050 demonstrates how the Waste-to-Energy technologies produced by European suppliers are profoundly committed to resource efficiency and climate change mitigation. 

By 2050, Waste-to-Energy plants will contribute even further to low carbon energy systems and circular societies.

Waste-to-Energy technologies treat residual waste: waste which is not fit for re-use or recycling and would otherwise be landfilled. For example, contaminated biomass such as wood treated with wood preservatives. 

Waste-to-Energy plants transform this waste into energy which is used for electricity generation, for heating and cooling and for various industrial applications – among others to produce hydrogen.

By combining the effects of landfill diversion, energy-efficient processes and improved materials recovery, Waste-to Energy is a considerable sink for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

Waste-to-Energy plants will allow to feed more renewable energy into the system which will be used, e.g. in the form of hydrogen, to decarbonise other sectors.

The Waste-to-Energy plants themselves will turn into edutainment and sport centres, with ski slopes, climbing chimneys and tennis courts, restaurants with vantage points and education centres for school activities.

The future of WtE is circular! Read and download the full document: ESWET_Vision2050