Date of Award
Master of Science
Deborah M. Markley
William M. Park, Luther H. Keller
The primary objective of this study was to determine if the convenience center system or the green box system is the more cost effective means of meeting a county's solid waste collection objectives. A secondary objective of this study was to determine the potential benefits from aesthetic improvements achieved by conversion to the convenience center system. Four rural Tennessee counties that had adopted the convenience center system were selected for case study analysis. A comparative cost analysis was conducted in three of the counties. Four major cost categories were identified and analyzed: annual equipment, labor, site, and total costs. Data were obtained through personal interviews with county solid waste management officials. To evaluate aesthetic improvements, problem areas were identified and officials were then surveyed to determine potential benefits from aesthetic improvements resulting from conversion to the convenience center system. Results of the comparative cost analysis showed that total annual costs for the convenience center system were less than for the green box system. Specifically, the reduction in equipment and/or labor costs was greater than the additional site cost incurred under the convenience center system. In addition, an evaluation of the total cost per capita of each system suggested that economies of size might be present under the convenience center system, but only weak evidence was found for the green box system. All counties realized benefits from aesthetic improvements by conversion to the convenience center system. A number of problems related to the green box system were reduced under the convenience center system, including roadside dumping, highway litter, scavenging, road maintenance, and rural fire protection. County officials in all four counties agreed that the attractiveness of the county was improved by conversion to the convenience center system. The convenience center system proved to be the more cost effective means of meeting solid waste collection objectives in the three counties. Conversion to the convenience center system produced intangible benefits in addition to cost savings. These benefits helped increase the attractiveness of the convenience center system as an alternative to the green box system.
Church, Alma Faye, "A comparative cost analysis of alternative solid waste collection systems in rural Tennessee counties. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1986.