European Plants Generate Energy—and Pride—from Waste

written by:
April 4, 2014
With Europe leading the way, waste-to-energy plants are turning an unlikely resource—garbage—into electricity. Read Full Article
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  Topped with a ski slope, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant will double as a tourist attraction when it opens in Copenhagen in 2017. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    Topped with a ski slope, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant will double as a tourist attraction when it opens in Copenhagen in 2017. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  When it is up and running, the $650 million Amager Bakke plant will have the capacity to burn up to 400,000 tons of garbage each year, producing enough heat and electricity for about 150,000 households. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    When it is up and running, the $650 million Amager Bakke plant will have the capacity to burn up to 400,000 tons of garbage each year, producing enough heat and electricity for about 150,000 households. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  A rendering shows the skiers in action. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    A rendering shows the skiers in action. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  The ski pistes will be accessed via an elevator adjacent to the smokestack. The elevator will have a glass wall facing the interior of the plant, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the energy production process. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    The ski pistes will be accessed via an elevator adjacent to the smokestack. The elevator will have a glass wall facing the interior of the plant, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the energy production process. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  A rendering shows the plant from the side. The bricks on the facade will double as planters, adding a dash of green that makes the edifice resemble a snow-capped mountain. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    A rendering shows the plant from the side. The bricks on the facade will double as planters, adding a dash of green that makes the edifice resemble a snow-capped mountain. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  The plant will have a total of more than 1,600 feet of ski runs. The roof was designed to support three ski slopes in different gradients—a feature that will let the plant accommodate skiers of varying degrees of ability. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    The plant will have a total of more than 1,600 feet of ski runs. The roof was designed to support three ski slopes in different gradients—a feature that will let the plant accommodate skiers of varying degrees of ability. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  At 260 feet, the Amager Bakke incinerator will be one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen when it is completed. This rendering shows its location in an industrial area near the city's waterfront. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    At 260 feet, the Amager Bakke incinerator will be one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen when it is completed. This rendering shows its location in an industrial area near the city's waterfront. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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  The plant was designed to belch out a large smoke ring every time a ton of carbon dioxide is released to serve as a reminder of the environmental impact of consumption. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

    The plant was designed to belch out a large smoke ring every time a ton of carbon dioxide is released to serve as a reminder of the environmental impact of consumption. Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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