This study evaluates the economic cost and sustainability of treating residual municipal solid waste (MSW) through five waste management scenarios. In the baseline scenario (Bsc), all waste was managed through landfilling, while in scenario 1 (Sc1) all waste was treated by incineration. Sc2 employed anaerobic digestion (AD) for food waste and landfilling, and Sc3 treated the waste through AD for food waste, incineration of combustible and plastic wastes, and landfilling. Sc4 treated the waste using AD, incineration, landfilling, and recycling of the plastic waste. The economic cost of waste management scenarios was estimated by calculating different economic variables, such as gate fees, including capital and operating costs, governmental incentives and levies, and also the potential of employed waste treatment technologies for resource recovery. The results revealed that Sc3 has the lowest economic cost of 238.1 mAUD/year, followed by Sc1 (261.9 mAUD/year), while Bsc proved to be the highest cost at 476.1 mAUD/year for MSW treatment. It was noticed that scenarios employing incineration had lower economic costs compared to Bsc and Sc2, mainly because incineration resulted in higher electricity generation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The sustainability assessment results confirmed that Sc3 had the lowest and Bcs the highest total economic cost and environmental damage.
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- economic cost
- waste to energy