HOT | COOL NO. 4/2012 - Interface, Users and Utilities

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MEMB E R COMP ANY P RO F I L E By Kathrine Windahl, Information and Marketing Manager, DBDH VESTFORBRÆNDING

Vestforbrænding is a waste management company, which besides representing the largest waste incineration plant in Denmark is also an environmental organisation striving to reduce waste and pollution and to actively use waste as a resource. The company operates in all spheres of waste management: • Recycling • Incineration • Landfill • Separation and management of hazardous waste • Collection of waste • Administration of waste schemes • Consultancy services • Research and development in the waste management field • Production of heat and power • District heating Vestforbrænding is owned by 19 municipalities around Copenhagen and Northern Zealand. In addition to solving waste management assignments at their site in Glostrup, they are also managing and operating 6 of the 24 recycling centers situated in the region defined by the 19 municipalities. Since the company is owned by municipalities, the profit structure is 'non-profit', which means that the price for heating or waste handling at Vestforbrænding is precisely the cost of producing heat or handling the waste. There are 320 people employed at Vestforbrænding. They handle, in one way or another, the waste produced in the 19 municipalities, or a total of the waste produced by the 865,000 inhabitants and the 60,000 companies situated there. MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES According to Per Wulff, Technical Manager at Vestforbrænding, the term "incineration", which is the literal meaning of the company name (along with the prefix 'vest', which is a geographical label), is a rather misleading one, as it obviously indicates the burning of waste, whereas in fact the company is engaged in a wide variety of activities regarding the utilization of resources and only burns what cannot be recycled in a feasible way.

Vestforbrænding treats approximately 2 million tonnes of waste annually, of which only 25% is incinerated, 70 % recycled and the last 5% deposited. According to Per Wulff the company thus sees itself more as a “resource superintendent” or a “manager of resources”. The stated mission of the company is to solve tasks in waste and energy supply for the municipalities, while the vision is to be Denmark’s leading waste and energy company, ensuring optimal use of waste, material end energy resources through planning, operation and development. District heating has become more visible in Vestforbrænding’s profile over the years. When first formed, the founders knew they wanted to utilize the excess heat created in the process of incineration, and within a few years a network of heat distribution was put in place in two nearby municipalities, supplying the nearby hospital, larger apartment complexes and larger industries. PROJECTS In recent years, Vestforbrænding has been busy expanding the district heating network to the benefit of the consumers, the company itself and society. Besides expanding the grid in the two original municipalities, the heating network is now expanded to include two more municipalities, bringing the number up to four of the 19 municipalities, which all benefit from the cheaper and greener heating solution. The plan in the near future is to include yet another municipality to the network, and the long-term planning at Vestforbrænding, even goes as far as to include the geographically furthest away of the owner municipalities. Vestforbrænding is a partner in Gate 21 which is an organization that facilitates public-private partnerships. Here Vestforbrænding is part of a project which, which must create a coherence in the region’s vision of a flexible energy system which is based on 100% renewable energy.

This can be seen on the figure where a waste hierarchy shows that recycling covers almost 70%.


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