A Quantitative Assessment of Air Pollutant Releases and Costs Associated with Increased Recycling in Urban and Rural Settings

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Title: A Quantitative Assessment of Air Pollutant Releases and Costs Associated with Increased Recycling in Urban and Rural Settings
Author: Kusa, Jonathon Joseph
Advisors: Dr. E. Downey Brill, Co-Chair
Dr. Morton A. Barlaz, Co-Chair
Dr. S. Ranji Ranjithan, Member
Abstract: Using a model to calculate the life cycle inventory of solid waste management alternatives, this study quantifies the cost effectiveness and marginal damage of several solid waste management strategies that involve recycling. Although findings from this study are not valid for any specific city, they are intended to provide decision-makers with a template upon which to base future case studies. The air emissions tracked in this study include carbon dioxide from fossil and biomass sources (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur oxides (SOx). The research was conducted in two parts. First, the maximum potential tons avoided and marginal avoidance cost resulting from expanding recycling programs for two settings, an urban and a rural area, are compared to emission control costs at a hypothetical coal-fired power plant. Second, the marginal damage associated with each recycling program expansion was calculated using published marginal damage functions. The study's findings indicate that although solid waste management (SWM) strategy upgrades are not as cost effective as additional coal-fired power plant controls for reducing the specified pollutants, marginal benefits are incurred by upgrading most SWM strategies to include drop-off recycling of waste material because its collection costs are relatively low.
Date: 1999-06-28
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/717


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