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The State of Garbage in America

The 17th Nationwide Survey of MSW Management in the U.S.
A joint study by BioCycle Magazine and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University

Latest national data on municipal solid waste management find estimated generation is 389.5 million tons in 2008 — 69 percent landfilled, 24 percent recycled and composted, and 7 percent combusted via waste-to-energy.

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2017-12-08T12:08:15-05:00October 8th, 2010|EEC Publication, Publications, WtERT - USA|

Municipal Solid Waste Management Scenarios for Attica and Their Greenhouse Gas Emission Impact

Disposal of municipal solid waste in sanitary landfills is still the main waste management method in the Attica region, as in most regions of Greece. Nevertheless, diversion from landfilling is being promoted by regional plans, in which the perspectives of new waste treatment technologies are being evaluated. The present study aimed to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact of different municipal solid waste treatment technologies currently under assessment in the new regional plan for Attica.

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2017-12-09T12:22:50-05:00October 16th, 2009|EEC Publication, Publications|

Overview of Food Waste Composting in the U.S.

According to the State of Garbage, in 2006, forty-six of the fifty states reported tonnage data for “recycled” (composted or mulched) organics, including yard trimmings and food residuals, and/or wood (non-C&D). The total tonnage of organics composted or mulched was 20,368,139 tons in 2006 [1]. This amount represented 5% of estimated Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated in the U.S. (387 million tons).

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2017-12-09T12:25:17-05:00July 9th, 2008|EEC Publication, Publications|

Use of Statistical Entropy and Life Cycle Analysis to Evaluate Global Warming Potential of Waste Management Systems

The statistical entropy (SE) function has been applied to waste treatment systems to account for dilution or concentration effects on metals. We later extended it to account for carbon flows, especially in waste management systems involving thermal treatment. Now, a simple lifecycle “net energy” metric – encompassing the “lost energy” that would have been gained when high-calorific materials are landfilled rather than combusted with energy recovery – is introduced to account for additional influxes of carbon when using landfilling as the primary disposal method. When combining net energy calculations and long terms effects of landfilling, waste to energy (WTE) becomes a more attractive option for dealing with non-recycled municipal solid waste (MSW). A greenhouse gasforcing factor is also introduced to account for the entropy generating effects of methane. When incorporating forcing and lost energy, WTE performs notably better than landfills with respect to entropy generation and carbon.

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2017-12-09T12:46:13-05:00May 9th, 2008|EEC Publication, Publications|

Potential for the First WTE Facility in Mumbai (Bombay) India

The city of Mumbai (Bombay), India is facing a solid waste management crisis. The infrastructure has been unable to keep pace with economic development and population growth, resulting in insufficient collection of municipal solid waste (MSW) and over-burdened dumps. Improper disposal of solid wastes over several decades and open burning of garbage have led to serious environmental pollution and health problems. This study examined the solid waste management process in Mumbai and the potential for implementation of waste-to-energy facilities.

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2017-12-09T12:36:42-05:00May 9th, 2008|EEC Publication, Publications|

Developments In Thermal Treatment Technologies

A 2007 WTERT survey showed that the global waste-to-energy capacity (WTE) increased in the period 2001-2007 by about 4 million metric tons per annum. By far, the principal technology used globally for energy recovery from municipal solid wastes is combustion of “as received” MSW on moving grates (“mass burn” or stocker technology). This paper also includes a brief report on the results of a study by WTERT on ways to increase beneficial uses of WTE ash in the U.S.

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2017-12-09T12:31:44-05:00May 9th, 2008|EEC Publication, Publications, WtERT - USA|

Potential for Reducing Global Methane Emissions From Landfills, 2000-2030

By E. Matthews, and Professor Nickolas J. Themelis Sardinia 2007, Eleventh International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium Global generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) is now ~1200 Tg/yr (1 Tg = 1012 g), >70% of which is landfilled. Landfilling of waste contributes ~30-35 Tg methane (CH4 )annually to the world's total CH4 emission of ~550 Tg/yr. Recycling and thermal treatment of waste in wasteto-energy (WtE) facilities contribute equally to diverting MSW from the waste stream destined for landfills and to mitigating CH4 emission. Waste generation is estimated to more than double by 2030 indicating that CH4 emission from waste will rise substantially in the absence of strong policies to reduce landfilling rates. To investigate the potential for future mitigation of methane emission from landfills, we developed reference projections of waste generation, recycling and landfill-gas capture, together with four WtE scenarios ranging from very conservative to very aggressive. Based on these scenarios, global 2030 CH4 emission, including reductions from recycling, range from 86 Tg (most conservative) to 27 Tg (most aggressive). WtE appears to provide the best option for limiting future waste-related emission.

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2017-12-09T12:49:35-05:00December 9th, 2007|EEC Publication, Publications|

Municipal Solid Waste Management in Italy

Italy is a European country with population of 58.5 million. It is divided into 20 regions that can be aggregated in three macro-geographical areas (North, Center and South). The generation of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Italy in 2004 was 31.1 million metric tones. The source - separated collection of recyclables and compostables was 22.7% of the total MSW production. However, the situation is very different between the macro-geographical areas of Italy: the North has reached a value of 35.5%, the Center 18.3% and the South 8.1%.

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2017-12-09T13:36:13-05:00September 9th, 2006|EEC Publication, Publications|
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