Posted in 5. June 2022, 12:27
When burning waste, chemicals are used to filter the air, the production of which requires large amounts of natural gas. In the event of a delivery stoppage, an already precarious situation risks causing heaps of rubbish and bad air.
Will it become commonplace in Switzerland soon? The car in Milan is increasingly disappearing behind garbage bags that pile up on the side of the road.
Waste incineration plant operators are now sounding the alarm and warning of an impending waste crisis.
Canton of Bern
Due to the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices, chemicals for air filtration are becoming more difficult and more expensive.
Switzerland is facing a waste crisis due to high energy prices and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because in waste incineration plants, but also in other industrial plants such as cement plants, the air polluted by the combustion process is cleaned with chemicals. Substances like ammonia, the production of which requires large amounts of natural gas, are becoming scarcer and more expensive due to the tense situation between Russia and the Western world.
“We are very concerned,” says Robin Quartier in an interview with SonntagsZeitung. According to the director of the Association of Waste Recycling Plant Operators, the equipment has become extremely expensive and supply bottlenecks may repeat themselves. Existing reserves are also very limited and wear out quickly.
piles of rubbish or polluted air
In Italy, ammonia production has had to be temporarily suspended, and Robin Quartier is concerned that Switzerland may soon run out of ammonia.
Without chemistry, the industry representative sees only two possibilities: either the plants operate without ammonia solutions, which would result in increased environmental pollution. In a second, equally ugly option, the operation of the waste recycling plants would be stopped, which would result in the accumulation of mountains of waste and thus an increased risk of waste fires.
The cement industry threatened to shut down production
Green politician Bastien Girod, already as chairman of the Association of Waste Recycling Plants, addressed the problem to the Federal Palace and calls on the Federal Council to demonstrate how he intends to ensure the supply of chemicals. The cement industry, which also uses ammonia to clean the air, is currently facing the same problem. There is a risk of temporary cessation of activities if the limits are exceeded. The situation with diesel vehicles seems less uncertain, where the so-called AdBlue is used to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions. According to the Federal Office for National Economy, there are no concerns about AdBlue bottlenecks in the near future.