Environmental and economic assessment of 'open waste dump' mining in Sri Lanka
Faculty of Applied Economics
Resources, conservation and recycling. - Amsterdam
, p. 67-79
University of Antwerp
Open waste dumps in Sri Lanka generate adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts due to inadequate maintenance. In this study, a concept of 'open waste dump mining' is suggested in order to minimise the environmental and socio-economic impacts, together with resource recovery. A model based on life cycle assessment and life cycle costing has been used to assess the environmental and economic feasibility of the suggested open waste dump mining concept. Two scenarios have been defined for a hypothetical case, dependent on the destination of the refuse derived fuel fraction. Scenario 1 comprises direct selling of refuse derived fuel as an alternative fuel to replace coal usage in the cement industry, while Scenario 2 consists of thermal treatment of refuse derived fuel with the objective of producing electricity. The study shows that both scenarios are beneficial from an environmental point of view, but not from an economic view point. However, economic profits can be obtained by adjusting waste transport distances and the price of electricity. The environmental analysis further reveals that the higher global warming potential of open waste dumps can be eliminated to a large extent by applying suggested mining and waste valorisation scenarios. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.