Economic Analysis for Thermal Treatment of Wastepaper in Saskatchewan
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Changing recycling markets and fluctuating market prices for wastepaper are increasing the financial risks for Saskatchewan municipalities and their waste disposal practices. Landfilling is generally considered the lowest cost alternative while recycling, although considered to be the right thing to do environmentally, can be cost prohibitive. The increasing demand for non-fossil fuel-based energy sources may present an opportunity for municipalities to economically generate heat and in some cases, power, through thermal treatment of wastepaper utilizing incineration with heat recovery or combined heat and power units. Barriers to the adoption are the upfront financial cost and lack of consolidated information required to perform a feasibility analysis. This thesis consolidates the information required for municipalities to conduct a first-pass feasibility analysis. Supporting information and data was collected to provide: a summary of technology, referenced values for the availability of wastepaper, capital costs for construction of thermal treatment plants, and expected values for heat and power production and sales. This data is intended for use by municipalities to evaluate thermal treatment of wastepaper. To assist with the evaluation, a Decision Support Tool (DST) was then developed to provide an automated economic evaluation of thermal treatment plants operating on wastepaper based on inputs from the user (municipality) and from available literature. Saskatoon, Swift Current, Outlook, and La Loche in Saskatchewan, Canada, were used as case studies for the evaluation of wastepaper thermal treatment in Saskatchewan. Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan with a population of approximately 250,000. Swift Current is the mid-point of the ten largest Saskatchewan municipalities, approximately 17,000. Outlook is the tenth largest municipality, approximately 2,300. La Loche, approximate population of 2,300 was selected to evaluate a Northern community. The selected municipalities also serve to evaluate a large population range within Saskatchewan with approximately an order of magnitude difference between each municipality. Using the developed DST for the case studies indicated that thermal treatment of wastepaper in the four locations has the potential to provide a disposal cost lower than recycling. In all cases, capital cost was the main driver, with operating and maintenance costs as the secondary driver, of the viability of thermal treatment of wastepaper compared to landfilling or recycling.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCivil and Geological Engineering
CommitteeMcPhedran, Kerry; Chang, Wonjae; Feldman, Lisa; Smyth, Stuart
paper recycling alternatives