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Cost of organic waste technologies: A case study for New Jersey

Gal Hochman Shisi Wang Qing Li Paul D. Gottlieb Fuqing Xu Yebo Li

*Corresponding author: Gal Hochman gal.hcohman@rutgers.edu


This paper evaluates the benefits of converting food waste and manure to biogas and/or fertilizer, while focusing on four available waste treatment technologies: direct combustion, landfilling, composting, and anaerobic digestion. These four alternative technologies were simulated using municipal-level data on food waste and manure in New Jersey. The criteria used to assess the four technologies include technological productivity, economic benefits, and impact on land scarcity. Anaerobic digestion with gas collection has the highest technological productivity; using anaerobic digesters would supply electricity to nearly ten thousand families in New Jersey. In terms of economic benefits, the landfill to gas method is the least costly method of treating waste. In comparison, direct combustion is by far the most costly method of all four waste-to-energy technologies.

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