ABN AMRO: Burning Rome’s rubbish increases CO2 emissions in Amsterdam
A study conducted by ABN AMRO states that Amsterdam’s decision to receive and burn waste from Rome will lead to an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Netherlands and will negatively impact air quality in the Dutch capital.
900 tons of Roman trash burned in Amsterdam every week
At the end of March, it was revealed that Amsterdam had signed a deal to accept and incinerate around 900 tons of rubbish from the Italian capital city every week. The rubbish is delivered by train directly to the Waste Energy Company (AEB), where it is processed “in efficient incinerators” and is used to generate energy for households and companies in the Netherlands.
While this certainly isn’t the first time Amsterdam has made a deal with another city or country to burn their household waste, the news was met with significant backlash. At the time, various members of parliament expressed their confusion and discomfort with the decision, questioning why the Netherlands was making such a deal when at the same time Schiphol Airport and the Dutch farming industry were being forced to cut operations and reduce emissions.
State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Vivianne Heijnen was among those to voice their criticism: "In the long term, it is completely undesirable for waste to be dragged by train throughout Europe to disappear here in an oven."
Dutch bank says deal benefits Italy more than the Netherlands
Now, a study conducted by a major Dutch bank has highlighted the exact consequences of Amsterdam’s deal. According to the AD, ABN AMRO points out that by exporting its household waste, Rome has rid itself of a substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions - emissions which will now pollute Amsterdam’s air instead.
“The combustion releases CO2, which is less harmful to the environment than the emissions from landfill,” the AD explains. While the Italians are “freed from their methane-producing waste,” Amsterdam instead faces “the emissions of the incinerated waste [which] causes CO2 and nitrogen [to be expelled] in the air here.”
In order to limit the environmental impact, the bank’s study suggests removing all plastic from the waste before it’s burned. "Italian waste contains an average of 13 percent plastic waste," David Bolscher, sector analyst for Industry, Transport and Logistics at ABN AMRO, told the AD. "That plastic accounts for more than half of the CO2 emissions from the incineration of the waste."
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