Economics of Composting Municipal Refuse in Europe and Israel

by George J. Kupchik,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 6, Pg. 41-56

Document Type: Journal Paper


Rapidly-expanding urban populations with increased refuse per capita have placed great strains on available disposal facilities. Thus, the economic feasibility of composting municipal refuse was explored on the basis of data collected from fourteen composting plants in Europe and Israel. These plants used either the Dano Biostabilizer the Dorr-Oliver Rasp, the ventilated cell, the Buhler-Dano combination, or the Van Maanen process. None of the plants visited was able to cover its capital service costs and operating expenses through income obtained from salvage and sale of compost. Deficits ranged from $0.32 to $5.32, with an average net cost of $3.38 per ton of refuse processed. Substantial prices for compost were obtainable practically only in Israel. The economic considerations derived from these data were applied to conditions in the United States, where, based on comparative cost indices, construction and operating costs would be considerably higher. Hence, it is most important that a determination be made that a continuing demand for compost exists before a compost plant is constructed.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Composting | Local government | Construction costs | Population projection | Strain | Feasibility studies | Data collection | Europe | Israel | Middle East | Asia | United States

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