Regional Impact of the Decommissioning of the Neihu and Muzha Incinerators in Taipei
The Neihu and Muzha incinerators, which are located in Taipei City, are estimated to reach the end of their lifespans in 2012 and early 2015. However, little is known of the regional impact of the decommissioning of these two incinerators. This study aims to provide a preliminary regional impact assessment of the decommissioning of the Neihu and Muzha incinerators. This study first assesses the impact on the regional MSW treatment capacity by analyzing the MSW collection and incineration data from the Taipei region. Then, a life cycle assessment approach is employed in order to examine the incinerator decommissioning impact on regional GHG emissions and total transportation distances of the garbage trucks in the Taipei region. Since the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA) has not created a specific guideline for the rearrangement of incinerator service areas after decommissioning, this study adopts a genetic algorithm method to optimize the service areas of the rest of the incinerators in the Taipei region (i.e., Bali, Beitou, Shulin, Hsinten and Keelung) under the different weights assigned to GHG emissions and the total travel distance of the garbage trucks. The results first show that regional MSW treatment capacity will be sufficient after the decommissioning. In addition, the impact on the total distances of the garbage trucks varies from -7% to +13% based on the arrangement of the incinerator service areas after the decommissioning. Moreover, the decommissioning is likely to reduce the GHG emissions by up to 193 tonnes CO2e /day, mainly because the Neihu and Muzha incinerators have relatively low energy recovery efficiencies due to the age of these facilities and the heavy burden of C&I waste treatment. Finally, the results suggest that the trade-off of GHG emissions versus total travel distance mainly depends on changes in the service areas between the Beitou and Bali incinerators. This is because Bali has better energy recovery efficiency but the areas near Beitou have larger MSW productions. The TEPA may need to conduct further research on the rearrangement of the service areas between the Bali and Beitou incinerators.
Keywords: decommission, Neihu incinerator, Muzha incinerator, life cycle assessment