Keywords: external costs and benefits, greenhouse gases, landfill, LFG, LESOR, municipal solid waste, renewable energy, valuation, solid waste management, waste disposal
Economic evaluation of a landfill system with gas recovery for municipal solid waste management: a case study
Economic activity uses resources, which leads to waste generation. With rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, per capita solid waste generation has increased considerably. Solid waste generation data for last two decades shows an alarming increase. Owing to its improper and untimely collection, the transport and disposal of municipal solid waste poses a severe threat to various components of the environment and also to public health. This paper describes the merits and demerits of various technological aspects of solid waste management. Landfill technology, as it is the most widely employed and is regarded as the most suitable and simple mechanism, especially for tropical countries such as India, is emphasised. All possible costs and benefits and externalities are examined. A cost-benefit analysis of a landfill system with gas recovery (LFSGR) has been carried out for Mumbai city's solid waste, accounting for certain external costs and benefits, and found that it could make a huge difference of savings of about Rs. 6.366 billion (approx. $0.l40 billion) per annum with reference to the existing system of waste disposal.