What is Incineration?

what is incineration

What is incineration?

“Everything you ever wanted to know, but never dared to ask!”

In its most basic form, it is the destruction of something, especially waste material, by burning. Incineration is a thermo-decomposition process where the components present in the waste stream are ionized into harmless elements at a higher temperature in the presence of oxygen.

This process is one of safer scientific disposals of MSW being practised in various developed countries. This method is for volume reduction wherein 90 per cent of waste will be ionised and remaining becomes ash.

What can I put into an Incinerator?

Burning stuff doesn’t make it entirely disappear, even once the ash is disposed of. Part of the mass of the original rubbish is converted into carbon dioxide and released into the atmosphere. But this pollution may beat the alternative. If the same volume of waste were tossed into landfills, eventual emissions of methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas, would be even worse for the atmosphere.

Some things you CAN incinerate:Some things YOU CANNOT incinerate:
  • Activated carbon
  • Agrochemicals
  • Animal fat
  • Automotive waste
  • Bones
  • Car filters
  • Cardboard
  • Ceramic
  • Chemical agents
  • Clothes
  • Colour pigments
  • Construction additives
  • Feathers
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Food
  • Fruit pulp
  • Fruits
  • Fuels
  • Incandescent lights
  • Laundry waste
  • Liquids
  • Mayonnaise
  • Medicines
  • Ointments
  • Organic sludge
  • Paper
  • Personal Protection Equipment
  • Pills blister
  • Plastics
  • polystyrene
  • Porcelain
  • Raw material
  • Resins
  • Sauces
  • Soil contaminated by hydrocarbons
  • Sprays
  • Starch powder
  • Syringes
  • Used car oil
  • Vegetable fat
  • Vegetables
  • Wood
  • Acids
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Car batteries
  • Cement
  • Glass
  • Lithium batteries
  • Mobile phones
  • Rubber
  • Small house appliances
  • Solvents
  • Tyres

Is incineration right for my waste?

The suitability of incineration is really down to the composition of your waste, how it’s been stored and for how long? For example, the more moisture present the less efficient the burn cycle will become as a lot of the heat energy is used up drying the waste BEFORE it ignites. Similarly if the waste is densely compacted and there is little room for air, the incineration process will be slow again – this time due to a lack of oxygen.

Any waste that contains items listed in the ‘CANNOT BURN’ should be pre-sorted before considering to process it using incineration.  We always recommend that you follow the 3 R’s – Reduce, Recycle, Re-use and treat incineration as the next stage in that process.