For a very long period of time, Polish waste management was based mainly on landfilling at landfills, which had a negative impact on the surrounding environment. The EU requirements for the Member States have led to a revolution in Polish legislation on waste management and local governments have become responsible for creating local waste management systems that will affect the achievement of EU targets. One of the solutions undertaken by several municipalities is the construction and operation of a municipal waste thermal treatment installation, which not only reduced the amount of waste deposited, but also supported the local power industry by generating electricity and heat. The emission standards for installations producing energy from waste, as in the case of conventional power plants and combined heat and power plants, are very strict, therefore, the continuous monitoring of emitted pollutants is carried out, and waste gas treatment systems are developed based on the best available techniques (BAT). The article presents emission standards applicable to waste incineration plants, including duties in the field of the environment, as well as issues related to the installation as a source of energy. In addition, the currently functioning waste incineration plants in Poland have been briefly characterized, and development plans in this area in the country have been described.
The article presents the results of plasma vitrification of solid remnants from thermal waste treatment with and without the addition of a carbonate fraction obtained from lead-zinc ore flotation. The substrates used in the research were slags and ashes from medical waste treatment, incineration of municipal waste, sewage sludge as well as hazardous and industrial wastes. The plasma treatment resulted in acquiring products of different quality depending on the processed substrate. Most of the obtained products were of vitreous and homogenic build. Treatment of remnants from incineration of hazardous and industrial wastes resulted in obtaining heterogeneous and rough surfaced products. A 20% share of the carbonate fraction enabled the obtaining of a vitrified product with a glassy surface and fracture. Hardness of the obtained products was rated in Mohs scale and ranged from 6 to 6,5. Leaching tests showed a decrease in heavy metal concentration in the leachates from vitrificates with the addition of carbonate fraction compared to the ones with it.