Description: This report provides data for use in evaluating the proven technologies and combinations of technologies that might be considered for managing municipal solid waste (MSW). It covers five major methods for MSW management in common use today: Landfilling; Mass combustion for energy recovery; Production of refuse-derived fuel (RDF); Collection/separation of recyclables; and Composting. It also provides information on three MSW management technologies that are not widely used at present: Anaerobic digestion; Cofiring of MSW with coal; and Gasification/pyrolysis. To the extent possible with available reliable data, the report presents information for each proven MSW technology on: Net energy balances; Environmental releases; and Economics. In addition to data about individual operations, the report presents net energy balances and inventories of environmental releases from selected combined MSW management strategies that use two or more separate operations. The scope of the report extends from the waste`s origin (defined as the point at which the waste is set out for collection), through transportation and processing operations, to its final disposition (e.g., recycling and remanufacturing, combustion, or landfilling operations). Data for all operations are presented on a consistent basis: one (1) ton of municipal (i.e., residential, commercial, and institutional) waste at the collection point. Selection of an MSW management plan may be influenced by many factors, in addition to the technical performance and economics of each option.
Date: October 1992
Creator: SRI International
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