True Cost Comparison of Landfilling and Incineration of Hazardous Wastes

by Stephen W. Bailey, ICF Technology, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


An analysis of the 'true' costs of a series of discrete model situations representing hazardous waste management by landfilling and incineration was conducted. The categories of hazardous wastes considered include PCBs, pesticides, halogenated solvents, non-halogenated solvents, waste oils, and waste paints. For landfilling, the cost contribution of six elements were estimated: capital investment costs; operational and maintenance costs; closure costs; post-closure care costs; future corrective action costs; and future liability costs. Wide ranges in the 'true' costs of landfilling were calculated. Incineration costs were also calculated as being highly variable. A comparison of the disposal costs for each category of waste analyzed revealed incineration to be the least costly method of disposal for the majority of model situations representing halogenated and non-halogenated solvent waste disposal. These findings suggest that a policy banning solvents from land disposal could be economically justified. (Edited author abstract. )

Subject Headings: Benefit cost ratios | Hazardous wastes | Waste disposal | Incineration | Solvents | Comparative studies | Disasters and hazards

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