Data Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives. Volume 1: Report Text Page: 27 of 216
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" Separating reusable materials from other municipal waste, often at curbside,
but sometimes at a central facility
" Transporting and processing (including remanufacturing) the separated ma-
terials for use as replacements for virgin materials
" Managing the wastes from separation and recycling
" Returning the materials to commerce, often as parts of other products
" Selling the recycled product to consumers.
The life-cycle analysis methodology requires that all these steps be included; the total esti-
mates of emissions and energy balances can then be compared with those for the original
manufacturing process, including the acquisition of raw materials. This report provides energy
balances for recycling, but data on environmental releases during manufacturing and remanu-
facturing are not available.
Data on capital and operating costs for the individual options were converted to 1991 dollars
per ton of daily capacity to provide a consistent basis for cost comparisons. The PEPCOST
Index, which was designed to make such conversions for SRI International's Process Economics
Program, was used.
A data base was constructed that includes the energy and emissions data for each waste
management option and for each step in a comprehensive MSW management strategy:
collection, processing, disposal of residues, and, if appropriate, recycling. Because a community
ultimately chooses and implements a strategy that includes at least the first three of these steps
and may choose a strategy that incorporates several individual options, the data base combines
the energy and emissions for each component in proportion to its contribution to the overall
strategy for treatment of the waste.
The data base is available in electronic form for analyzing various possible MSW manage-
ment strategies. Users can change variables in the data base (e.g., transportation distances, vol-
ume of recyclables collected, truck fleet fuel consumption) to reflect a particular community's
Overview of MSW Management in the United States
The United States generated 180 million tons of municipal solid waste in 1988.* MSW is
estimated to be growing at rates of 0.75% to 1.5% per year-i.e., at the same rate as population
growth to twice the rate of population growth.
* This estimate includes residential, commercial, and institutional solid waste, plus some similar types of wastes
from industrial sources, in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/s (EPA's) "Charac-
terization of MSW in the U.S.: 1990 Update."
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SRI International. Data Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives. Volume 1: Report Text, report, October 1992; Golden, Colorado. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1310776/m1/27/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.