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Promoting Solid Recovered Fuel to Achieve Zero Waste through Resource Circulation

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On 2 August 2023, the EPA invited experts, scholars, local environmental bureaus and enterprises to exchange and share key aspects of the management, production and use of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF). These include insights into local governments’ implementation and industry best practices. The discussion was aimed to engage with the stakeholders and focused on how to improve management. It was also to prepare for the future policy direction of converting combustible waste resources into energy.

As part of the key strategy of "Zero Waste through Resource Circulation" for Taiwan's transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, the EPA has been promoting the conversion of combustible waste resource into fuel since 2019. As of the end of 2022, there were 28 companies engaged in the production of SRF and 14 companies engaged in its use. The annual consumption of SRF had been steadily increasing, reaching 180,000 metric tons in 2022, up from 60,000 metric tons in 2019. Moving forward, the EPA will continue to collaborate with local governments to enhance inspection and management efforts, and to ensure strict oversight of SRF manufacturing facilities, including their production technology, quality, and flow management, so as to maintain the smooth operation of industries involved in conversion of combustible waste resources into fuel.

The conference focused on strengthening the management and expanding the benefits of converting combustible waste resource into fuel. This included requiring SRF manufacturing facilities to install necessary equipment, confirming user needs in advance, and using appropriate equipment to receive and process waste materials. It also entails regular sampling and testing of the finished product. The finished product should be directly sold to SRF users who adhere to the standards, and the authorities should review the management of both fuel production and utilization in series and conduct on-site inspections. Additionally, practical examples of applying the methodology for calculating carbon reduction benefits through "the substitution of coal with SRF in boilers and combustion devices to generate thermal energy" were also discussed during the conference.

In 2020, the Guidelines and Quality Standards for Solid Recovered Fuel Manufacturing Technology (固體再生燃料製造技術指引與品質規範) was formulated to primarily create a management system and standards for SRF, providing guidelines for both industry operators and reviewing authorities to follow. To enhance this management system, the quality standards were further revised in January 2023, mandating that SRF manufacturing facilities should have essential equipment such as sorting, shredding, and mixing machinery. At the same time, the EPA continued to assist SRF manufacturing facilities to enhance their manufacturing technology and quality.

In response to the international trends of coal reduction and efforts toward net-zero carbon emissions, more and more domestic enterprises in Taiwan, including large boiler operators and the cement kiln industry, are planning to adopt SRF as an alternative to coal. This will place a stronger demand on the management of SRF. The EPA has formulated the Management Regulations for Solid Recovered Fuel (固體再生燃料相關管理方式), which integrates regulations pertaining to the application, reporting and management of the production, manufacturing, and use of SRF, as well as SRF’s ash residue treatment or recycling stages. In the future, the EPA will introduce additional management regulations regarding SRF quality verification, the responsibility of users for confirmation, regulatory agency inspections, and import and export procedures. These regulations are aimed at providing clear guidelines for enterprises to follow.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, August 2023

Ministry of Environment