A ground-breaking report prepared for the Niagara Region in Ontario showed that the "true cost" of composting organics is two to four times lower than energy-from-waste (EFW) incineration.
The rigorous, peer-reviewed study used a methodology developed by Seattle economist Jeffrey Morris. It also found that disposing of organics in state-of-the-art landfills like Vancouver's, which use methane to generate electricity, has a true cost that is fifty-percent higher than composting.
The "true cost" factors in the environmental and social costs and benefits of different waste management options, allowing policy makers to make good triple-bottom-line decisions.
FROM THE REPORT:
The results show that in the case of the Region of Niagara, the ‘True Costs’ associated with managing organics are ($15.76) and $32.18 per tonne for composting leaf, yard and brush waste, and food waste respectively, $75.14 per tonne for landfill with gas flaring, 49.37 per tonne for landfill with gas recovery for electricity generation, and from $62.72 - $142.72 per tonne for EFW.