A Bright Future for the Waste Conversion Market in the US

April 23, 2012 |

[Press release] April 16 – Early leaders of the waste conversion market are at the forefront of an incredibly lucrative opportunity, states new research. The drive towards renewable energy targets makes the need for waste management much less a trend, more an inevitability. Despite public opinion backlash and perceived risk profiles, this year, Waste Conversion Technologies have become more prominent than ever before.

The market for renewable energy from waste is rapidly emerging across the US. The market has a number of large scale and entrepreneurial players, ranging from companies such as Waste Management and Veolia, to venture capital-led start-ups such as Coskata, Harvest Power and Methane Power.

It is becoming clear that early leaders will be at the forefront of an incredibly lucrative opportunity. “First mover advantage is going to be a clear driver of success in many states”, claims a new report, ‘Renewable Waste Management Markets Report’, by Renewable Waste Intelligence. As a result companies experimenting in technologies such as gasification, anaerobic digestion, landfill gas and waste to biofuels, will no doubt head the future of the waste-to-energy industry.

In this strive towards sustainable, yet profitable waste management practices, landfills are facing tougher regulations on their methane emissions. Landfill emissions, if left uncontrolled, contribute to air toxics, climate change, tropospheric ozone, and urban smog.

FlexEnergy’s Vice President, Mike Levin, talks optimistically about altering the large number of landfills that flare their gas: “What I’m seeing is an abundant source of energy that is essentially being wasted”. The company explained that they have developed a new turbine that can generate electricity even from low concentrations of methane.

“We are turning [the municipality’s] current source of frustration with the flared methane into a source of revenue,” says Levin. Essentially, the local government can benefit from a share of the profit from power sold to the utility. “Waste has been transformed into a profitable resource for the community at hand” states Levin.

Harvey Gershman, President of Gershman Bricker & Bratton, looks towards the exponential growth for waste conversion. “Looking around the US, you’d think places with high disposal costs would be logical locations for new plants. But actually we have seen plants developed in places with low disposal costs, like Mississippi and Texas,” observes Gershman. ‘It’s more about where the company can find a willing partner to work with” he concludes.

The recent industry report also outlines a “cautious optimism” in the waste to energy market with interviewees reporting a ‘who will leap first?’ mentality.

Evidently the industry has a diverse landscape to navigate through. Advice on building a sound business model, independent technology evaluation, and regulatory guidance, are all essential in building a commercially sound WtE project.

Thankfully the Waste Conversion Congress East Coast, in Philadelphia June 12 -13 2012, is well placed to deliver this clarity. The Congress will bring together industry leaders including Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, the Energy Recovery Council, the US EPA, Cleveland Public Power, Enerkem, Waste Management Inc, to discuss these issues.

The conference focuses on delivering successful, profitable waste conversion projects and includes;

–       Comparison of new and proven technologies to select the right technology for feedstock type

–       Practical information on how to structure financing

–       Understand legislative, regulatory and permitting requirements to produce an environmentally and commercially viable project

–       Maximise value of your feedstock

Emily McMahon of Renewable Waste Intelligence said; “There is a very real need for this meeting as the industry strives to deliver viable, scalable, commercial waste conversion technology that will secure long term profitability for MSW feedstock”.

To find out more details about the congress contact;


Emily McMahon

Renewable Waste Intelligence

Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 7196

[email protected]

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