Recycling-based waste disposal systems can be a financially competitive solution to waste incineration: they can create more tax income, jobs and trade surplus.
A new report by Gaia and Sitra indicates that recycling is a financially competitive solution to waste incineration. The report compared two waste disposal systems that could be used in the coastal towns of Western Finland, and their financial impact. One system is based on incineration, the other on recycling.
“Incineration has long been considered a cheap waste disposal system – in fact the only financially sensible system. According to the report, waste material recycling can be financially more sensible than incineration, particularly if you consider employment, tax income or trade balance. Recycling is also a better solution when it comes to cutting emissions and saving natural resources,” says director Mari Pantsar-Kallio from Sitra.
The waste disposal system based on recycling would create over 60 more jobs in the area than the system based on incineration. It would also improve Finland’s trade balance by 1,2 million euros per year. Furthermore, recycling would create more local and national tax income – 8,9 million euros of national tax income compared to 7,4 million euros that the incineration-based system would create.
“The calculations in the report are based on direct effects of the two waste disposal systems. If you take into account the multiplicative effect, such as new jobs in the supply chain and reducing the consumption of virgin raw materials, the differences between the two systems could be more significant,” says Senior Consultant Ville Karttunen from Gaia Consulting.
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