Concepts of Waste Management

Analysis of the cost structure of municipal waste disposal

On the basis of the data of 227 public disposal facilities (year of reference 1995) the disposal costs for individual types of waste and various fields of waste disposal were examined. For the analysis of factors of influence on the expenses as well as for the identification of cost saving potentials characteristic numbers were defined, which also permit the comparison of the various disposal facilities. In all examined types of waste and fields the results show partially substantial differences in the expenses of the examined disposal facilities, which indicates a potential for curbing expenses.



Within the framework of the present investigation and with support of the local central associations an investigation of the cost structure (database 1995) in the local waste disposal has been accomplished on the basis a country wide questionnaire to 435 public disposal facilities (return ratio approx. 50%) as well as a supplementing and deepening investigation with six disposal facilities. 

For the analysis of factors of influence on the expenses as well as for the identification of cost saving potentials characteristic numbers were defined. With the help of these characteristic numbers the various public disposal facilities were compared. During the interpretation regional specifications, the organization of the waste management, the performance and the disposal quality were considered as far as possible. 

As an important result it can be held that substantial cost fluctuations exist apart from structural differences and a different performance in the waste management, which indicate a potential to curb costs. First however, it is rather difficult to compile comparable data on the existing services and the costs resulting from them. The reason for this lays in the rather different cost calculation systems of the individual public disposal facilities. Waste-economic services as well as their allocation to fields of expenses and cost units are different and are frequently defined differently. A substantial condition for economic analyses and transparent fee calculations is therefore concretizing the performance program. It is advisable to develop sample achievement programs. Besides that, by means of the performance definitions (Products) a clear objective and computational demarcation of the waste-economic and municipal administration should be possible.


Analysis of the cost structure of municipal waste disposal 

In the report to the project "Analysis of the Cost Structure of the Municipal Waste Disposal" the disposal costs of individual types of waste and fields of waste disposal are examined. On the basis of the data of 227 public disposal facilities (year of reference 1995), which represent approx. 45 million inhabitants attached to the public waste disposal, both the quantity-specific and the inhabitant-specific disposal costs are listed, discussed and conclusions for reduction of costs are drawn. 

The average inhabitant-specific total costs of the waste disposal from private households were determined for the year 1995 with DM 144 (€ 73,63) per inhabitant and year, with a considerable range of DM 40 to 270 (€20,45 to 138,05). 58 per cent (average value 382 DM/t (195,31 €) of this amount are allotted to the disposal of remainder garbage, bio ton (average value 540 DM/t (276,10 €)/green waste (average value 197 DM/t (100,73 €) 13 per cent, bulky waste eight per cent (average value 332 DM/t (169,75 €) and printed products six per cent (average value 171 DM/t (87,43 €) 

The disposal of refrigerators, electronics scrap iron, other scrap iron as well pollutant-loaded products causes altogether seven per cent, the removal of uncontrolled dumping as well as other expenditures including waste consultation altogether eight per cent of the costs. 

Classified according to cost categories the total costs of the municipal waste disposal are made up of 52.2 per cent (!) from external expenses, personnel expenditure 11.6 per cent, non-personnel costs 11.6 per cent, writings-off and interest 9.3 per cent, resetting 8.6 per cent and other costs 6.7 per cent. 

In all examined types of waste and fields the extensive and detailed results show partially substantial cost differences between the examined public disposal facilities. In particular, where this is the case with service and technical standard, curbing cost potentials are to be assumed. 

The extensive and detailed results of the study make an examination of the calculation of disposal costs possible for all public disposal facilities in Germany, also those, which did not take part in the inquiry. On this basis the public disposal facilities and/or countries can start further and deepening surveys/investigations, e.g. in form of inter-local index comparisons, in order to detect potentials for curbing costs.

Project Participants

Implementing Institution

uve Umweltmanagement & -planung GmbH

More Project Information

Project title: Kosten und Gebühren in der kommunalen Abfallentsorgung

Project number: 99-086/1, 99-086/2

Reference number: FKZ: 29731506

Project period: 1997 - 1998

Project region: Germany


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Source: Environmental library of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA)