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Odour Emissions from a Waste to Energy (WtE) Incinerator


Year: 2020

Location: SAINT-OUEN-SUR-SEINE – France

Application: Solid Waste


A waste to energy (WtE) plant in northern Paris, known as the ‘L’étoile Verte’ or ‘Green Star’ waste recovery facility, initially built in an industrial area, is now surrounded by residential development. This has presented a number of challenges; not least of which is odour.

Commissioned in 1990 and built in an area that has hosted industrial activity since 1919, the WtE plant is situated at Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine and has an incineration capacity of 600,000 tonnes of domestic waste per year.


Until now, reports of odour occurrences by local residents helped the plant to identify potential sources of odours.

However, this process has several limitations. For example, some odour instances may go unreported, mainly when they occur at night time; and some odours may have been created by external sources.

Moreover, odour is a subjective observation because different odours affect different people differently.

Nevertheless, the main objective of odour management is to reduce or eliminate the effects of odour on local residents, so their feedback is essential.


The deployment of 20 WT1 monitors with the capacity to:

  • measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • measure sulphurous compounds such as hydrogen sulphide, and other odorous compounds such as ammonia
  • detect specific gases and particles


Before the deployment at Green Star monitors, ELLONA collected representative Tedlar bag samples from the site and conducted comprehensive laboratory and dynamic olfactometry analysis of the potentially odorous compounds present.

Odour threshold limits were established using the dilution method outlined in ASTM E679.

This enabled ELLONA to create a qualitative fingerprint for the site’s odours and to install monitors capable of detecting the specific odorous compounds that exist at the site.

Main results

The plan at the Green Star site is to further lower odour nuisance by implementing odour mitigation measures and identifying those which are the most successful. As time passes, the constituents of household waste are likely to change. Still, with the monitoring system in place, Syctom can respond accordingly to any changes in odour generation.

Download the customer case

If you are interested, you can download the SYCTOM Case in a PDF format below.

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