Waste management is more challenging in small islands due to islands’ special characteristics. For small islands where energy recovery by incineration is difficult due to smaller waste generation amount with large seasonal fluctuations, waste shipments outside of island can make energy recovery possible. This study evaluated the cost effectiveness and environmental performance of waste shipments for energy recovery in case of small islands. The results shown that the direct shipment for incineration is expensive, but the emission prevention by energy recovery can surpass the emission from waste transportation. Waste shipments in the form of refused derived fuel (RDF) can reduce the transportation and incineration cost, but the high fossil fuel consumption in RDF production process resulted in high greenhouse gas emissions. The shipping distance, RDF gate fee, and emission from RDF production process have high influence on the cost effectiveness and environmental performance of the waste treatment process. The results of this study revealed the cost effective and environmental beneficial choosing criteria of waste shipments’ destination.
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