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Protecting the environment

Our mission is to produce energy with your non-recyclable household – or assimilated – waste. Our ambition is to respect, nay protect, the environment.

Bruxelles-Energie is at the forefront of technology and meets the strictest environmental norms imposed by the European Union and the Brussels Region.

The optimal management of waste

Energy recovery from non-recyclable household is one of the essential links of an environmental policy for waste management. At Bruxelles-Energie, we strongly support the use of Lansink’s ladder for an optimal management of waste:

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Level 1 : prevention

The best way to respect the environment is to adopt a more clever way of consumption to produce less waste. For instance, choosing the products also based on their packaging. Indeed, why buy 6 cans of soda for a big family when 2l bottles are available?

More information on prevention on the website of Bruxelles-Environnement.

Level 2 : re-use

Numerous objects are no longer used by you but may still be useful for others. Do not throw away your clothes, toys or other objects. Give them away to others, sell them in a flea market, in a virtual or physical second-hand shop or offer them at social economy associations. You could also repair some objects and reuse them yourself.

Level 3 : sorting & recycling

When prevention and reuse are no longer possible, sorting and recycling come into play. In the Brussels region, the regional and municipal « container parks » accept your bulky waste. Most of such waste is recyclable. Likewise, your PMD packaging, paper-cardboard and glass packaging are sorted and recycled to produce new objects. As for your garden waste, they are recycled to produce compost.

More information on the websites of Bruxelles-Propreté, Recyclis and Bruxelles-Compost.

Level 4 : waste incineration with energy recovery

This is where Bruxelles-Energie comes into play. When the production of waste cannot be avoided, when they cannot be reused or recycled, they can nevertheless still be used to fuel electricity or heat production. At Bruxelles-Energie, over 493 700 tons of non-recyclable household – or assimilated – waste is used to produce annually enough electricity to cover the needs of 65.000 households in Brussels, in the strictest respect of the environment. Furthermore, different materials are recuperated, valorized and recycled (residue, ashes, metals, salt, etc.).

The following two steps are not applicable to the Brussels region.

Level 5 : waste incineration without energy recovery

Some waste incinerators unfortunately do not produce energy, but this has become increasingly rare, as the environmental norms are increasingly stricter. This situation is clearly not that of the Brussels region where the non-recyclable waste are used to produce energy.

Level 6 : landfilling

Landfilling is the last possible step of Lansink’s ladder. It must be avoided at all costs. Landfilling pollutes the soils and waterways and produces a huge amount of methane gas. The methane gas rejected in the atmosphere is 25 times more harmful than CO2 and therefore highly contributes to global warming. Landfilling is not authorized in the Brussels region. Only 0.14% of the materials recuperated from waste treated at Bruxelles-Energie is landfilled. It is the muds from from the treatment of the washing waters which are stabilized and disposed as hazardous waste in specific hermetic tips.

A green plant

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Bruxelles-Energie protects the atmosphere

The gas rejected in the atmosphere essentially consists of nitrogen, oxygen, steam and C02. The gas expelled from the furnaces are literally washed. The pollutants are neutralized and eliminated. The level of NOx rejected is 3 times inferior to the norm set by the European Union. The emissions are analyzed daily. The odors are sucked into the furnaces where they are eliminated by the heat.

Evolution of emissions - September 2021

We continuously measure the emissions all year long in order to guarantee the quality of the air. Hereafter graphic representations of the daily records for September 2021
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Bruxelles-Energie protects water

Les eaux de lavage des fumées sont purgées et traitées via deux installations : le traitement d’eau et l’évapo-cristallisation, interne à l'usine. Rien n'est rejeté dans le canal ou dans la Senne.
The waters used to wash the gases are purged and treated via 2 internal installations : the water treatment and the evapo-crystallisation. Nothing is rejected in the canal or in the Senne.

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Bruxelles-Energie recovers the recuperated materials

Ashes, residue, metals and the salt are recuperated and reused in various industries, therefore avoiding the overexploitation of primary natural resources.

Discover here how the plant operates.

A clean and renewable energy source

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Bruxelles-Energie produces renewable energy (56%)

The production of energy from non-recyclable household waste offers important benefits, such as :
* the replacement of fossile fuels (carbon, oil, gas, etc.) up to 56%
* a steady and durable production of energy
* a better climate protection (avoiding the emissions of methane gas produced by landfilling waste)
* the sanitary protection through the burning of bacteria and other sources of pathologies.

Using your waste to fuel the production of energy helps exploiting less fossile energy sources. The incineration of household waste (3 furnaces @ 19t/h each) produces steam which is sent to 3 turbines at Electrabel for an electric production equivalent to the needs of 65.000 households in Brussels. Furthermore, a project for a heating network is currently under study. This project should allow for a better valorization of steam and for a further reduction of CO2 emissions.