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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (4) : 10
Environment and economic feasibility of municipal solid waste central sorting strategy: a case study in Beijing
Hua ZHANG1,Zongguo WEN2,*(),Yixi CHEN1
1. School of Humanities and Economic Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
2. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (SKLESPC), School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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The Green House program reduced the amount of waste by 34%.

The Green House is now running with a monthly loss of 1982 CNY.

Involve government, expand scale, use professional technology are main suggestions.

Improved program can reduce the amount of waste by 37% (33.8 tons monthly).

Improved program can flip the loss into a profit worth 35034 CNY monthly.

Although Beijing has carried out municipal solid waste (MSW) source separation since 1996, it has largely been ineffective. In 2012, a “Green House” program was established as a new attempt for central sorting. In this study, the authors used material flow analysis (MFA) and cost benefit analysis (CBA) methods to investigate Green House’s environment and economic feasibility. Results showed that the program did have significant environmental benefits on waste reduction, which reduced the amount of waste by 34%. If the Green House program is implemented in a residential community with wet waste ratio of 66%, the proportion of waste reduction can reach 37%. However, the Green House is now running with a monthly loss of 1982 CNY. This is mainly because most of its benefits come from waste reduction (i.e., 5878 CNY per month), which does not turn a monetary benefit, but is instead distributed to the whole of society as positive environmental externalities. Lack of government involvement, small program scale, and technical/managerial deficiency are three main barriers of the Green House. We, thus, make three recommendations: involve government authority and financial support, expand the program scale to separate 91.4 tons of waste every month, and use more professional equipment/technologies. If the Green House program can successfully adopt these suggestions, 33.8 tons of waste can be reduced monthly, and it would be able to flip the loss into a profit worth 35034 CNY.

Keywords Environment and economic feasibility      Municipal solid waste (MSW)      Waste central sorting      Green House     
Corresponding Authors: Zongguo WEN   
Issue Date: 12 June 2016
 Cite this article:   
Hua ZHANG,Zongguo WEN,Yixi CHEN. Environment and economic feasibility of municipal solid waste central sorting strategy: a case study in Beijing[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(4): 10.
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Fig.1  MSW generated in Beijing and China from 1980 to 2014

Note: data source [13], [18]

Fig.2  Main infrastructures of the Green House
Fig.3  Designed and current MSW separation model of the Green House: (a) designed MSW separation model of the Green House, (b) current MSW separation model of the Green House
Fig.4  Material flow of the Green House program
Fig.5  Material flow of the Green House program with wet waste ratio of 66%
cost/income related materials money /CNY
the initial setup costs /CNY land for the Green House (20 m2) -640000 (provide free at present)
design and testing of the “crushing and dewatering machine” -500000
establishing a single-story house -200000
a sorting table
a conveyor belt, and other little things
a crushing and dewatering machine
basic utilities fees/(CNY·month-1) water, electric, and other running fees -300
the workers’ salaries -2000
income per month /(CNY·month-1) sale of 1590 kg recyclables 318
reduced 3840 kg wastes 5878
Tab.1  Monthly costs and income of the Green House
contents related items scenarios or effects
improved scenarios for the Green House program land used for the program provided by government or real estate company
initial setup costs provided by government or real estate company
source separation requirement residents source separate dry and wet waste
number of workers 2 regular workers worked 8 hours each day
operation subsidize 1530.7 CNY for each ton of reduced waste
scale of the program 3048 kg per day (91440 kg per month)
ratio of wet waste 66%
monthly waste separation and reduction /kg amount of waste separated 91440 ( = 3048×30)
separated recyclables 8230 ( = 91440×9%)
dry residues 22860 ( = 91440×25%)
wet residues 34747 ( = 91440×38%)
water squeezed out from waste 25603 ( = 91440×28%)
waste reduction 33833 ( = 8230+ 25603)
monthly operating cost and income /CNY daily running fees -2400 (-300×8)
workers’ salaries -16000 (-2000×8)
benefits from recyclables sold 1646 ( = 0.2×8230)
benefits from waste reduction 51788 ( = 33833×1530.7/1000)
net profit 35034
Tab.2  Improved scenarios and the improved environmental and economic effects
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