Renewable Energy Systems

2013 Edition
| Editors: Martin Kaltschmitt, Nickolas J. Themelis, Lucien Y. Bronicki, Lennart Söder, Luis A. Vega

Waste-to-Energy, Introduction

Reference work entry
When I was asked by the Editor of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, to put together a section on the role of waste-to-energy, I agreed to do it because the subject of resource recovery from the discards of society is an essential part of what the United Nations has defined as “sustainable development.” Prior to the second half of the twentieth century, the consumption of materials and energy by humanity was a small fraction of what it is today. An example of the rapid growth in consumption is the use of copper, a metal that has been known since the beginning of history: A 1995 study by the author showed that more copper was consumed between 1945 and 1995 than in the preceding six millennia (Fig. 1).
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Engineering CenterColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA