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Unformatted text preview: MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE PROCESSING Carrie Farberow and Kevin Bailey Executive Summary The production of municipal solid waste (MSW) has steadily increased over the last 45 years from 88 million tons in 1960 to 246 million tons in 2005. Of the waste produced in 2005, about 54% was landfilled, 14% was combusted, and 32% was recovered through recycling or composting. Over the last 18 years, the number of operating landfills has decreased from approximately 8,000 to fewer than 2,000. Due to the decreasing landfill space, especially in densely populated cities, it has become necessary to explore alternative methods for MSW disposal. Pyrolysis, used for municipal solid waste management, has a variety of benefits. The process drastically reduces the mass of waste that must be disposed, remedying current problems related to insufficient landfill space. Additionally, pyrolysis produces synthesis gas which can be further processed to produce a saleable end product, making it more profitable than current...
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