Sunday, June 22, 2008

Composting: Best disposal method

Niagara sets bar for waste disposal

Niagara's landfill sites were filling up, and it had to decide what to do. Faced with the usual clamour from companies with competing technologies, it took the radical step of commissioning a report to compare what it called the "true cost" of different ways of dealing with food waste and leaf-and-yard wastes (including brush)....

The report looked at what the results would be from using four different technologies: composting, landfills that flare the resulting methane gas, landfills that use the methane for generating electricity, and incineration or gasification techniques. It did not compare the results produced by biodigesters, which also create methane for generating electricity.

It found that composting far and away had the least impact. The true cost of landfills with flaring was 3.8 times more costly, landfills with methane used for producing electricity was 2.5 times more costly, and the "best case estimate" for incineration or gasification was 3.2 times more costly.

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