The top of the huge slope called CopenHill, in Copenhagen, Denmark, is 85 meters high. It has become a popular leisure site among the citizens as a novel spot where people can enjoy recreational activities such as skiing on artificial grass, bouldering, live music and hiking, under the white smoke (steam) from a tall chimney. It opened in 2017 and was designed with the vision of providing a place for citizens to enjoy outdoor activities all year round. Beneath the unique rooftop architecture of CopenHill is a waste incineration power plant that uses the latest technology. In other words, the building is opened as a garbage incinerator facility.
The waste incineration plant, named Amager Bakke, was built at a total cost of more than 543 million US dollars. In 2020, it burned 600,000 tons of waste from five surrounding municipalities, providing enough electricity for 80,000 households and heat for 90,000 households. The plant is designed to utilize 100% of the energy contained in the waste, and its energy output is more than 25% better than that of the former plant. Amager Bakke also fully contributes to a low-carbon society by reducing CO₂ emissions by 100,000 tons a year, and contributes to the improvement of environmental problems by providing functions as purifying 95% or more of NOx (nitrogen oxide) and purifying dioxin. It aims for almost zero CO₂ emissions and, through its carbon capture function, which began trials this summer, expects to achieve a recovery rate of 95% (500,000 tons) from 2025 onward. Incinerated ash and metal waste from the plant are also reused.
The world-famous Danish architect Bjarke Ingels was responsible for this revolutionary waste incineration power plant. The rooftop of CopenHill reflects the concept of a natural roof park, that recreates Scandinavian nature and birds and insects actually live. It can be called an urban-style waste incineration park, that combines nature and the latest technology. In many cities, waste incineration plants and they are often shunned by residents, but CopenHill has applied various ideas and innovation to dispel that negativity, and has become a facility that not only supplies energy to the city, but is also loved by its citizens. Globally it is not common for a power plant to become a landmark. It is anticipated that even citizens who have not been interested in the environment until now may become more environmentally conscious after visiting CopenHill.