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Economics of Landfills

             The disposal landfill waste is a necessary job that creates many environmental externalities. Externalities are costs and benefits that arise when the social or economic activities of one group have an impact on another. Externalities can be either positive or negative, creating either benefits or costs to something other than the creator of the externality who usually fails to fully account for their impact. .
             From the definition of Pollution, all pollution causes externalities. In fact, Pollution itself is a very common negative externality - it is a byproduct of production. A Company that pollutes loses no money in doing so, but society must pay heavily to take care of the problem pollution caused.
             The problem this creates is that companies do not fully measure the economic costs of their actions. They do not have to subtract these costs from their revenues, which means that profits inaccurately portray the company's actions as positive. This can lead to inefficiency in the allocation of resources.
             Externalities associated with landfill waste include costs related to greenhouse gases causing climate change, costs of conventional air pollutants and some airborne toxic substances.
             causing (e.g. health effects), costs of leachate to soil and water, costs of disamenity effects of the facilities, noise, smell and litter; and external benefits from energy recovery.
             Landfill externalities can be classified as either fixed (independent of the quantity of waste) or variable (depending on the quantity of waste) costs and benefits. Most waste externalities such as emissions to air, water and soil are variable external costs. Disamenity effects of landfills and incineration plants are mostly fixed external costs. The main emissions from incineration and landfill disposal of municipal solid waste and their impacts on receptors are NOx, SO2, and particulates and the greenhouse gas CO2.
             In addition, heavy metals and dioxins are emitted to the air from incinerators.

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