A reader sends news from Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker Co-Chair, International Resource Panel (UNEP) in Emmendingen, Germany, who wrote to her:
“There have been many conflicts in Germany. But the Federal “TA Siedlungsabfälle” (Technical Instruction on Municipal Waste) made it nearly impossible to have anything else but incinerators.
“Slowly, the country is realizing that this is destroying valuable mineral resources, chiefly metals. Our Panel found out that high tech metals have recycling rates below 1%, and then people complain about their scarcity!”
Dignified by the title ‘Urban Mining’
Those in the industry are implicitly recognising this and doing research to find ways of recovering residual minerals, metals and plant nutrients from incineration.
Better to recover larger amounts of these materials by other means
See information on these on sites such as Science Direct, which reports on earlier University of Birmingham/Redditch Newell Engineering joint research into techniques for the recovery of metal from post-consumer wastes.