In 2022, there were 36 urban waste incineration plants in Italy. 25 of them were situated in the north of the country, namely in regions such as Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. Incineration is the process of transforming waste into energy through combustion.
Waste-to-energy is the process of burning waste materials to steam. This is then used to generate electricity. In addition to biomass materials such as paper, cardboard, and food waste, non-biomass materials can also be burned as fuel. In 2022, the country had one of the highest cumulative installed capacities of municipal waste energy in Europe.
GHG emissions from waste incineration
While energy production from waste has increased notably, greenhouse gas emissions from incineration in Italy have fallen over the last decade. In 2021, some 163,000 metric tons of CO₂ equivalent were emitted from incineration and open burning of waste, compared to over 260,000 tons of CO₂ equivalent released in 2010.