Environmental Engineering


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Environmental Engineering

Write your answers to the following question in Short Essay Format: Question 1A. Question 1B should be done in a Table Format. Be sure to include reasons and facts as required to support your answers. Cite examples. Each student is responsible for submitting their own response to the following questions.



Number your answers for each question.

(45 points total) One way to manage today’s excessive municipal solid waste (MSW) output is to incinerate it. Waste incineration has two benefits: one is that landfills won’t fill and close as quickly, and the other is that burning the waste can produce energy. It is estimated that up to 90% (by volume) of waste can be kept out of landfills by incinerating it. Waste incinerators have been around for a long time, but were phased out in the 1970s due to pollution concerns and other negative effects on the environment. Today’s waste-to-energy facilities are making a comeback and it is due in large part to technological improvements that reduce the amount of pollution.


  1. (25 points) Describe how waste can be used to generate energy from burning municipal solid waste and discuss the current ways of pollution control for landfills. Can the ash left behind from the burning operations be used, or should it be disposed of in a landfill?
  2.  (20 points)Table Format. Suppose an incineration facility costs your city $42.5 million to build. The facility would be capable of burning 675 tons of waste per day producing 15 megawatts of electricity, which can be sold for $0.088 per kilowatt. It will cost nothing additional to take the waste to the facility, as opposed to paying $100 a ton fee to have it buried in a landfill. How long will it take for the waste-burning facility to pay for itself? Ignore operating costs. Assume the facility operates 24/7, 365 days a year.

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