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U.S. waste journalists visiting Austria

February 26, 2010

Wolpin and Toto at fact finding tour “Waste Management and Energy from Waste”

Upon official invitation from Austria, an international group of waste and energy journalists visited the Austrian cities of Graz and Vienna in February to learn more about best European practices. Representing the U.S. were Deane Toto from the Recycling Today Media Group and Bill Wolpin from Waste Age. Both also participated in Austria’s most important environmental fair ENVIETECH in Vienna and gave the audience an idea of what’s going on in the U.S. This is what the journalists saw in detail:

Komptech with U.S. subsidiary
Komptech’s primary fields of competence are treatment of solid waste and treatment of biomass. The company’s products cover the major processing steps of modern waste treatment and biomass processing: shredding technology, screening and separation technology and composting technology. The company offers both mobile and stationary machines, meeting diverse requirements of different customers. Altogether Komptech’s product portfolio includes more than 30 different machine types.

MBA Frohnleiten
By Austrian law it is now forbidden to send untreated waste to landfill. To meet the legal requirements for waste produced in the area of Graz, a plant was built in Frohnleiten in 2003. It is the largest capacity mechanical-biological waste treatment plant in Austria at the moment. In a dual stage process, the material brought in first undergoes a four week intensive fermentation process and afterwards is brought to a landfill site for a twelve-week post- fermentation process.

Enbasys delivers perfectly efficient turn-key plants (EPC) including plant design, engineering and plant procurement and construction. Their experience encompasses the entire spectrum of anaerobic digestion application, substrate conditioning, energy conversion and waste water treatment. Enbasys designs the plant in close collaboration with the client. Their high performance biotech energy plants provide the investor and operator with excellent process stability and long-term reliability.

Lindner Recyclingtech GmbH
The family-owned company started producing shredding machines in 1968.The company benefited from the huge European interest in reprocessing waste and is working constantly to develop the "ideal" shredding machine.

The environment agenda ÖKOPROFIT was developed in 1991 by the environmental department of the city of Graz and the Technical University of Graz. It is a private-public partnership aimed at reducing emissions within companies, preserving natural resources and reducing costs, and is seen as an archetype for the sustainable development of a city.

The Graz Public Transport Company has operated all its buses with biodiesel produced from used cooking oil for many years. The process of recycling the old oil and turning it into fuel was developed by the environmental department in Graz and called ÖKODRIVE. Today, this breakthrough concept is also in use in Beijing with the help of an Austrian company.

The Austrian company is working in the fields of processing technology, environmental technology and bagging technology on all 5 continents. It is an internationally successful supplier of machinery and plant engineering in three major business areas: processing technology (mining and chemical industries), environmental technology (waste-glass and plastic recycling) and bagging technology (free-flowing bulk materials). One of Binder+Co’s core competences is the processing of primary and secondary raw materials.

Spittelau Thermal Waste Treatment Plant
The thermal waste treatment plant in Spittelau is one of three incineration plants in Vienna run by Fernwärme Wien, part of Vienna’s premier energy provider Wien Energie. The Spittelau plant is famous for its impressive and beautiful façade designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The plant now is the second-largest generator in the City of Vienna’s district heating network with a total annual output of 460 MW.

MVA Pfaffenau
The waste incineration plant “MVA Pfaffenau” was built according to the highest technological and ecological standards. Tests have shown that the waste processing system is highly environmentally sound and the technology used is extremely advanced.

Biogas Wien
The Biogas Wien plant was opened in 2007 in the south of Vienna as a part of the Environmental Center Simmering,a site which also includes a state-of-the-art sewage plant and the newly built waste-to-energy plant (MVA) Pfaffenau. Since 2006, institutional kitchen waste is no longer permitted to be used as livestock feed, and is now used as a resource for the Biogas Wien plant. The plant itself brings fermentable waste back into the natural cycle as clean energy, using valuable resources and conserving the environment. 10,000 tons of biogenic waste from biowaste containers, plus 7,000 tons of institutional kitchen waste from Vienna and other sources are transformed into valuable energy at the plant.