It is important to consider the economics of scale factor in the biological treatment of organic wastes. Careful economic analysis should be performed when comparing centralised and decentralised (on-site) composting options. Transportation costs, which can account for more than 70 % of the total waste management costs, must be carefully considered when designing a solid waste management system. This is especially true when considering the financial exploitation of methane from anaerobic digestion from centralised locations.
Composting provides institutions with a method to dispose of a large portion of the food waste stream in a way that benefits their bottom line and the environment. By composting, an institution avoids high per ton incineration or landfill costs. Further, using the compost on-site can save the grounds department money by reducing their need to buy mulch, fertilizers, and pesticides, since compost improves soils water retention, aeration, and adds lost nutrients.
Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, Medical University of South Carolina, and King County Solid Waste Division, USA
Many businesses and institutions are realizing significant waste disposal cost savings by composting the food waste fraction of their refuse. Grocery stores participating in food waste composting programs are saving as much as 50 % in their waste disposal costs.
E&A Environmental Consultants, USA
Municipal solid waste incinerators generate about 80 % of the dioxin emissions. After Municipal incinerators, the main sources of dioxins are incinerators that burn organic chloride waste and waste oil, medical waste incinerators, and metal works. Dioxins are endocrine disruptors, which means they can act like hormones in the body, interfering with sexual development and causing infertility. They also cause cancer. Dioxins are not produced deliberately, but rather are unwanted by-products of many chemical industrial processes and of all combustion processes. Any time you combine heat, chlorine and organic material, there is a chance of making dioxins.
This technology should be widely used in more cities because it can produce more economic profits than the traditional burning or burying methods.
Sun Hong Division for Resources and Environmental Development, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology
Incineration is not popular, is costly, and results in production of gaseous and particulate toxic mutagenic substances which are difficult to manage. Despite these problems, it is the second most used method to dispose municipal solid waste worldwide and the most expensive.
Dep. of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, USA