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Assessment of waste disposal vs resource recovery

Report: TR05/35
Author: J.E. Cavanagh (Landcare Research)

Abstract

This assessment provides a focus on what benefits or costs arise from different waste management activities (disposal, diversion and collection) that are common across New Zealand.

Within the constraints of the current assessment, the social benefit generated by waste diversion activities, and in particular community-based operations are the key difference between waste disposal and diversion scenarios; small-scale community based operations deliver the greatest social benefit per dollar spent on activities. Resource and environmental costs were greatest for landfilling operations (including refuse transfer operations), and were typically small (relative to economic activity) for other scenarios. Collection activities can comprise significant additional costs and benefits to disposal or diversion activities.

Assessment of Waste Disposal vs Resource Recovery
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Table of Contents

Summary 4
Glossary 8
1 Introduction 9
2 Background 9
3 Objective 10
4 Methods 10
4.1 Interviews 10
4.2 Scenario development 11
4.3 Assessment 11
4.4 Interpretation of the sustainability profile 13
5 Results 15
5.1 Background information 15
5.2 Processing of recyclable materials 22
5.3 Scenario development 23
5.4 Assessment 29
6 Discussion 36
7 Conclusion 38
8 Recommendations 40
9 Acknowledgements 41
10 References 41
11 Appendices 43
Appendix 1 - Data input for SAM 43
Appendix 2 - Estimation of environmental and resource use 46