M.S. Thesis: Waste-to-Energy for Santiago, Chile: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

By Paula Estevez Weinstein

Advisor: Prof. Nickolas J. Themelis

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
Columbia University

May 2006

Santiago’s current solid waste management system is in crisis and faces important political, geographical and environmental challenges that make it non-sustainable. Therefore, there is an urgent need to move towards an Integrated Solid Waste Management that includes modern alternatives, such as waste-to-energy (WTE). In a “sustainable development” approach, waste should be regarded as a resource for materials and energy recovery and not simply as a product for disposal.

The objective of this research is to examine what the city of Santiago is doing regarding its municipal solid waste (MSW) and to propose an Integrated Solid Waste Management for Santiago that focuses on the use of WTE as the key component. This report offers a Cost-Benefit Analysis of one WTE plant that will serve two municipalities of Santiago, La Florida and Puente Alto.

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