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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning evaluation of the facilities for the treatment of solid wastes at the Premier Street landfill in the District of North Vancouver Saunders, Frederick Michael

Abstract

Each year the problem of where to dispose and how to dispose of commercial, domestic and industrial solid wastes becomes worse. The growth rate of solid wastes continues to expand both because of the per capita increase in solid waste produced and because of population growth. Traditional disposal techniques such as dumps and landfills are becoming more expensive to operate mainly because of the lack of suitable land and the increased competition to obtain it. The growing inability of established disposal systems to handle the expanding solid wastes, generates further impetus to find new disposal techniques. Ignored environmental effects, particularly the growing pollution of air, land and water are no longer as acceptable to an increasingly pollution conscious public. With the changes in community attitudes towards the preservation of natural assets, disposal techniques previously too expensive to compete with traditional disposal techniques now are becoming more acceptable. The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the benefits of using a new grinding disposal technique outweigh costs. The community selected for the analysis was the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, which forms part of the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area. Presently, the District of North Vancouver operates a controlled landfill disposal technique known as the Premier Street Landfill. Various forms of air, land and water pollution occur at or from the site. The present landfill disposal technique is economically efficient with disposal costs of about $1.00 per ton of solid waste disposed. A benefit-cost analysis was conducted using the present landfill disposal technique as the control situation and the grinding disposal technique as the possible alternative. The point of view of the analysis was that of the Corporation of the District of North Vancouver which would be the decision making authority. For comparison purposes, different volume capacities were used in the analysis. The district's borrowing rate of 7% was used as the discount rate. Rates above and below the selected discount rate were also used in the analysis for comparison purposes. The value of net intangible benefits was also calculated to show what value would have to be placed on these benefits by the District of North Vancouver to justify the use of the disposal techniques involved in the analysis which were not as economically efficient. The results of the benefit-cost analysis showed that the present controlled landfill technique is economically more efficient than the proposed grinding disposal technique. The District of North Vancouver would consequently not be justified in converting to a grinding disposal technique under present conditions, unless the value of the net intangible benefits was accepted as a legitimate monetary expense.

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