Material recovery and energy recovery are incompatible
Incineration and material recovery are not antithetical processes, but complementary: It is possible to send wastes from recycling processes, which are not reusable otherwise, to heat recovery, and to recover materials (iron, aluminium, other metals and minerals) from waste from incinerators.
The countries that achieve the highest rates of material recovery are those that also have the highest percentages of waste sent to waste-to-energy and the lowest quantities of material disposed of in landfills.
Ripartizione percentuale della gestione dei rifiuti urbani nell’UE, anno 2013. Rapporto ISPRA 2015