Beneficial Use and Recycling of Municipal Waste Combustion Residues: A Comprehensive Resource Document

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This document summarizes information from worldwide sources on the beneficial use of residues from the combustion of municipal solid waste (MSW). The information presented, including results of numerous research projects, field demonstrations, and actual full-scale projects, demonstrates that the ash can be safely used. This document will be useful to readers interested in ash use, thoseconsidering ash beneficial use projects, and persons needing a source of information about ash. Information important for planning and implementing ash use projects is presented. This includes data on ash characteristics, environmental considerations, guidance on selected ash use applications, and information on federal and state regulations and policies affecting ash use. ; Results of severalstudies evaluating the risks of using ash are presented. These are useful in providing an understanding of potential environmental and human health exposure pathways considered in evaluating ash use alternatives. Key points to consider in conducting leaching studies on ash are discussed and data are presented from laboratory and field leaching studies. Many ash research projects and ash usedemonstrations are listed and provide sources for more detailed information on implementing beneficial use projects. Discussion of ash management practices in other countries shows that ash use in these countries is much more prevalent than in the United States. References are provided for readers who want more details on ash use. In 1997, 103 waste-to-energy facilities in operation in theUnited States, serving the disposal needs of more than 31 million people. These facilities generated about 2800 MW of electricity from the disposal of 31 million tons of MSW. In the process, about 7 million tons of ash were produced. Most was used a landfill daily cover, as road bed, or was disposed of in landfills.1; Overseas practices and the large number of research and demonstration projectsin the United States show that ash can be safely used. However, beneficial ash use has not progressed much in the United States. This could change because recent actions in several states have been encouraging and may help to increase beneficial use of ash.;
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages141
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Also available electronically

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/BK-570-25841


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