CCS for incinerators? An expensive distraction to a circular economy

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is being explored in response to climate concerns. When considering CCS for incinerators, it should be kept in mind that the top rung of the carbon mitigation hierarchy is generally accepted to be the ‘do not build’ option, i.e. to “evaluate the basic need for the project and explore alternative approaches to achieve the desired outcome/s”. Following this principle, proponents of CCS typically seek to justify their carbon capture projects on the basis that there is no viable alternative approach to delivering a necessary good or service. As there are viable alternative approaches to both resource management and energy generation, such an argument cannot be applied to defend CCS for municipal waste incinerators (MWIs).

This report presents key general and specific arguments on how CCS for incinerators is a distraction, instead of a solution, to incinerators’ carbon problem.


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