Environmental impacts of waste incineration in a regional system (Emilia Romagna, Italy) evaluated from a life cycle perspective.J Hazard Mater. 2008 Nov 30; 159(2-3):505-11.JH
The advisability of using incineration, among the other technologies in Municipal Solid Waste Management, is still a debated issue. However, technological evolution in the field of waste incineration plants has strongly decreased their environmental impacts in the last years. A description of a regional situation in Northern Italy (Emilia Romagna Region) is here presented, to assess the impacts of incinerators by the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and to stress the most impacting steps in incineration process. The management of solid residues and heavy metal emission resulted the most important environmental concerns. Furthermore, a tentative comparison with the environmental impact of landfill disposal, for the same amount of waste, pointed out that incineration process must be considered environmentally preferable.