This paper presents an approach for determining the economic feasibility of refuse-derived fuel production and the recovery of various materials. The information presented here is based largely upon data developed for [1] the metropolitan Washington, D. C. area1 as input for the consideration of a regional resource recovery program which would eventually encompass some 4000 t per day (3628.8 Mg per day) of municipal solid waste. The initial facility would process 650 t per day (589.7 Mg per day). The facility is designed to recover refuse-derived fuel (RDF), light and heavy ferrous metals, aluminum and other nonferrous metals, flint glass cutlet, color-mixed glass cullet, color-mixed glass fines, and handpicked waste newspapers and corrugated. For the most part, advance commitments for the sale of these products have been obtained. An early stage in the planning process requires recovery product revenues to be estimated and the feasibility of the process to be analyzed. Since materials revenues can be predicted with a higher degree of certainty than RDF revenues, it becomes necessary to determine what revenues will be required from the sale of the RDF in order that projected economics can at least be the same as the alternative disposal practice. A technique is described here which will assist the decisionmaker to evaluate the economic feasibilty of the proposed project by determining what is termed here the RDF “Indifference Value [3].”

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