Data Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives. Volume 1: Report Text Page: 48 of 216
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conducting a life-cycle analysis that compares recycling with alternative MSW management
Data on composting of MSW are also limited. Data on emissions during processing are
incomplete, and available studies have been less rigorous than analyses of emissions from either
landfills or combustors. Data on emissions from the use of the compost are also scarce, and data
on energy requirements are incomplete. Technical and marketing difficulties also constitute
barriers to successful application. Composting operations may seem attractive as low-cost
alternatives to combustion or landfilling, but inexpensively constructed facilities often suffer
serious operating problems. At the other end of the process, at least one large technically
successful MSW composting plant has had great difficulty finding markets for the compost
Anaerobic digestion is in its infancy in the United States, and no commercial facilities are
operating. Adequate data on actual energy use and production, emissions, and composition and
use of the compost product cannot be gathered until a commercial plant is constructed and
RDF cofiring is comparatively well characterized. The primary barrier to more widespread
use is the difficulty in finding suitable incentives for communities, utilities, and industry to
establish mutually beneficial cofiring projects on furnaces with grates.
No commercial gasification or pyrolysis plants are operating in the United States, and the
data available on plants operated in the 1970s are out of date. Gasification and pyrolysis of
MSW are unproven. At current fossil fuel prices, demand for the gas they produce could be
small, and little incentive may exist for additional development of MSW gasification/pyrolysis
facilities. If chemical feedstocks can be made by pyrolysis/gasification, the economic consi-
derations may change.
In summary, for combustion processes, extensive data are available on costs, and well-
verified data are available on energy and emissions. -Less consistent data are available on
landfilling, and few data have been found on collection, separation, and remanufacturing and on
OTHER PROJECT DOCUMENTATION
The findings of this study are published in a two-volume report and 10 appendixes. The
appendixes provide detailed summaries of the literature on the various options, as well as
bibliographies of the references cited in the appendixes. In addition to this executive summary,
those documents include:
"Data Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives. Volume I: Report Text."
Final Report, June 1992, SRI International. This report describes major findings in detail.
"Data Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives. Volume II: Exhibits."
Final Report, June 1992, SRI International. This volume contains detailed cost summaries,
the data base, and other background information.
"Collection and Evaluation of Comparative Data for Waste Management Alternatives.
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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/m1/48/: accessed May 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.