Solid Waste & Recycling

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High-Tech Incineration

The study of environmental and health risks due to dioxin emissions from incineration has led to heated debates. Some studies show that dioxins are most commonly formed when municipal or hospital wast...


The study of environmental and health risks due to dioxin emissions from incineration has led to heated debates. Some studies show that dioxins are most commonly formed when municipal or hospital waste is burned with an incineration process, others conclude that dioxins are not formed in certain types of incinerators.

The science is quite simple. Dioxins and furans form from the reaction between hydrocarbons and chlorine when the combustion of chlorinated fuels is incomplete. (Also see main article.) In older incineration systems, especially continuous-feed style units, it’s difficult to control the combustion levels and the chemistry of the components. Therefore, there’s a high probability of finding dioxins and furans in the flue gases, bag house particulates or ash residue.

However, new-generation incineration systems can significantly limit dioxin formation. For example, over the course of six years, Burlington, Ontario-based Eco Waste Solutions developed the so-called Eco Waste Oxidizer. With this new technology, dioxin formation is virtually non-existent, as measured by independent labs in Canada and the U.K.

Stable operation of the unit — which is controlled by a sophisticated PLC process computer — precludes the formation of high levels of dioxins and furans. The relatively high temperature and extended residence time in the afterburner destroy the components to such an extent that dioxin and furan levels are well below the tolerated norms. Proven first by several independent testing laboratories, the U.S. patented process has also been demonstrated in Canada and the U.K., in: Cheltenham, England; Albert, Northwest Territories; and, in Ontario (Dorchester, Mississauga, North York and Windsor).

Selected Eco Waste Ministry of the Eco Waste
Contaminant Incinerator Environment (MOE) emissions as a
Calculated Emission Standard or percentage of the

Concentration * Guideline MOE Standards or

g/m3 Concentration Guidelines %

g/m3
Dioxins and furans 0.0000000029 0.000015 0.019

Lucy Casacia is vice-president of Eco Waste Solutions, based in Burlington, Ontario.


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