Cost-Benefit Analysis of Converting Waste Into Energy at the Riverton Metropolitan Landfill in Jamaica
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With today's rapidly increasing population and exponential disposal of wastes, solid waste management has become a critical issue. The mechanisms of solid waste management are vastly different in developing countries than they are for developed countries. In addition to limited financial resources that have to be distributed amongst various sectors, most developing countries are also wracked by the added problems of poverty, high crime rates, poor infrastructures and corruption. This research seeks to explore these issues by examining the recent proposal to convert energy from waste using the Riverton Metropolitan landfill in Jamaica as a case study. Jamaica imports more than ninety percent of the energy it uses. By using the organic material from the landfill, the country can save billions of dollars in energy imports and waste disposal. The research explored the existence of any projects in place to convert solid waste into energy in Jamaica, the setbacks of converting landfill waste into energy, the •impacts of the landfill on the Metropolitan area and the best approach to implementing this project in Jamaica. By means of various literature sources, observations, surveys and interviews, it was discovered that executing a project to convert waste from energy will be very beneficial not only to the Jamaican economy but also the Jamaican society. However, the Riverton Metropolitan landfill also faces several setbacks to making this proposal a reality. These setbacks include the fact that the landfill is already full, it is an open landfill, and, in addition that a large number of humans and animals depend on the landfill, poor management practices and the severe lack of financial resources to make this project a reality. There are a few proposals in place to use to landfill as a source of energy, all of which are still in their planning stages. The Riverton Metropolitan landfill has several effects on the Metropolitan area including: health hazards caused by frequent fires at the landfill, leachate contamination of water sources as well as a huge economic burden for the Kingston Metropolitan Area. It was concluded that executing a project to convert waste into energy would be a tremendous opportunity for the country if a new sanitary landfill is designed for this purpose rather than redesigning the already full Riverton open landfill to carry out this project.