Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is defined as waste consisting of everyday items such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles and cans, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, consumer electronics, and batteries (EPA, 2017a). Municipal Solid Waste comes from homes, businesses and institutions such as hospitals and schools. In 2014, in the United States, about 258 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste were generated.
Over 89 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste were recycled and composted, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate (EPA, 2016). That means that approximately 65.
3 percent of waste was not recycled. Waste that is not recycled is generally sent to landfills. Landfills are engineered areas where waste is permanently placed in the ground. Municipal Solid Waste landfills are designed to protect the environment which, according to Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 258, substitutes the need for a number of restrictions. Some of these include location restrictions, composite liners requirements, leachate collection and removal systems, operating practices, groundwater monitoring requirements, closure and post-closure care requirements, corrective action provisions, and financial assurance (EPA, 2017b). These components of landfills all cost a substantial amount of money.Major Cost Components of LandfillsLandfill costs are site specific and differ based on a number of components such as soil type, climate, and terrain. Landfill costs break down into the following classes: site development, construction, equipment purchases, operation, closure, and post-closure.
Site development includes site surveys, and engineering and design studies. Reviews are important to decide whether a potential site is possible. For instance, the building plan, surveys, and overall engineering for a MSW landfill in New Boston, Texas costed over $370,000 (BME, 2013). Development costs incorporate building the landfill cells and in addition advancement of perpetual on location structures expected to work the landfill. Working expenses of the illustration landfill incorporate staffing, gear (installments and support), leachate treatment, and offices and general upkeep. Landfill operations and upkeep exercises are performed utilizing an assortment of overwhelming development gear with 2-17 working costs subject to fuel, repairs, and support.
Once a landfill never again acknowledges squander, the conclusion procedure incorporates the establishment of a last cover and top. Capital costs for installation of a cap can run between $80,000 and $500,000 per acre. For example, at the landfill in New Boston, Texas total closure costs were nearly $4,220,000 (BME, 2013). Components impacting these expenses incorporate the materials utilized for the top, site geography, and the accessibility of dirt or soil appropriate for use as the cover. The conclusion procedure can incorporate the establishment of a LFG accumulation framework which is important to gather and wreck or gainfully utilize the methane gas that is created. The expenses related with a LFG accumulation and flare framework are negligible when contrasted with the capital expenses for landfill development, yearly landfill working expenses, and other conclusion costs. Post-conclusion mind expects support to guarantee the trustworthiness and viability of the last cover framework, leachate accumulation framework, groundwater checking framework, and methane gas observing framework.
These exercises keep water and air contamination from getting away into the encompassing condition. The required post-conclusion mind period is 30 years from site conclusion, and can be abbreviated or stretched out by the chief of an endorsed state program as important to guarantee assurance of human wellbeing and the earth. The overall post-closure costs of the New Boston landfill was nearly $3,750,000 (BME, 2013).
Now that we know how much it costs to construct, operate, and close a landfill, where does that money come from?Landfill Revenue SourcesCertain states within the U.S. assess and adjust financing systems to discover approaches to all the more viable and effective ways to bolster their strong waste transfer and reusing programs.
In the United States, there are several ways Municipal Solid Waste programs fund their works. These means include disposal charges, facility fees, general funds, taxes, scrap tire fees, e-waste program fees, and local fees (EPA, 2014). The cost to dispose of MSW at a landfill is commonly known as a “tip fee” or “gate fee”. Typically, reported tip fees represent the “spot market” price for MSW disposal, i.e., the drive-up cost to dispose of a ton of waste.