Material and Energy valorisation of waste in a Circular Economy

Work programme – the role of Task 36

The role of Task 36

Task 36 is designed to allow exchange of information on the integration of the Energy from Waste (EfW) in a circular economy by means of material and energy valorisation of waste, and its contribution to the global deployment of bioenergy. There are a number of issues associated with this that are relevant to many IEA Bioenergy countries.

Task 36 follows the integration of the Energy from Waste (EfW) in a circular economy by means of material and energy valorisation of waste, and its contribution to the global deployment of bioenergy.

The Task is designed to facilitate exchange of information on strategic technical and non-technical issues related to the integration of energy into waste management decision-making and operations. While stakeholders contributing to this exchange of information include researchers, the waste and recycling and recovery industry, the energy from waste sector, policy makers and local decision makers. The Task proposes to prioritise information for policy and decision makers.

The Task is aware of issues that influence energy from waste that are covered in other Tasks in IEA Bioenergy as well as by other international organisations in the field and is working together with them.


Priorities for 2022-2024

Priorities for 2022-2024 have been developed taking the global trends discussed above in to account and also local trends of importance to participating countries. The programme focuses on the effect that circular economy initiatives along the waste and energy value chain will have in the deployment of bioenergy globally.  The members’ have been identified  5 topics of interest for this triennium (see figure below):


1.The role of Energy-from-waste (EfW) in a circular economy in which the energy industry may step back and leave room for other industries. EfW is much more than incineration, and new technological pathways can support an improved alignment of waste management with CE principles. Sub-topics included in this area:

  • Integration of EfW and material recycling/recovery into industry.
  • Potential synergies between EfW and material recycling.
  • Resource Recovery from residues generated by EfW.
  • The potential of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) within EfW.


 2. Sustainability that will focus on:

  • Sustainability metrics and public acceptance.
  • Environmental performance of different waste management strategies.
  • Strengthening waste-to-resource management frameworks/models with lessons learnt from other countrie
  • Impact of new technologies: economical and societal aspects.


3. Evaluation of new technology pathways: This is an important topic within the task programme for 2022-2024 and the outcomes from the work done on it will help to support the planning and decision-making process for new bioenergy initiatives around the world. The subtopics that will be aimed of discussion are

  • Hydrogen from waste
  • High value products from waste
  • Organic waste: current option and solutions under development
  • Sewage sludge valorisation
  • Mixed plastics recycling and utilization.


4- Future scenarios for new waste streams, their composition, and amounts: Forecasting of waste streams compositions and amounts is a valuable information when designing future waste management systems and prioritizing the development and deployment of new technologies.


5- Smart technologies for waste sorting: Developing and implementing smart sorting technologies in the waste management industry generates new possibilities to keep materials in circulation and create future business opportunities. AI, digital tools or non-destructive chemical-physical technologies will be investigated in this area.


For more details, please read IEA Bioenergy Task 36 work programme 2022-2024.

Work programme

The work programme has been designed to pragmatically fit in with the number of members of the Task in the 2022-24 Triennium, whilst at the same time covering the issues indicated as important by current Task members.

Activity Structure

4 key activities are proposed to achieve the work of the Task:

  • Task meetings, with associated workshops/webinar
  • Collaborative work with other Tasks and other organisations.
  • Reports on key topics
  • Communication through presentation of results on the web site, via international conferences, newsletter and soical media

Task meetings and associated workshops

The Task’s core work will be undertaken in the newly structured Task meetings, each of which will be accompanied with a themed workshop.  The aim of these workshops is to allow Task members to present work on the nature of the issues concerned within their own country; to invite speakers to present work of relevance and to allow discussion of the issues presented. These meetings will not detract from the very successful current format of Task meetings, which normally include a relevant site visit.  This format will continue.

The following workshops are currently being proposed:

  • Integration of EfW and material recycling/recovery into industry
  • Sustainability metrics
  • Public acceptance (workshop series)
  • Hihg value products from waste
  • Sewage sludge valorisation
  • Framwork for strengthening waste to resources management framworks

Collaborative work

There will be collaborative work going on through the Triennium on the following subjects:

  • The potential of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) within EfW
  • Hydrogen from waste


ExCo interaction and support

This Task will continue to support the Bioenergy Agreement in its work.  To do this the Task leader will attend ExCo meetings as necessary and provide annual reports and accounts as required.

To strengthen the involvement of the ExCo with the Task, the ExCo member for the host country will be invited to participate in the Task meeting held in their country.