Greenhouse gases emission from municipal waste management: The role of separate collection.Waste Manag. 2009 Jul; 29(7):2178-87.WM
The municipal solid waste management significantly contributes to the emission in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases (e.g. CO(2), CH(4), N(2)O) and therefore the management process from collection to treatment and disposal has to be optimized in order to reduce these emissions. In this paper, starting from the average composition of undifferentiated municipal solid waste in Italy, the effect of separate collection on greenhouse gases emissions from municipal waste management has been assessed. Different combinations of separate collection scenarios and disposal options (i.e. landfilling and incineration) have been considered. The effect of energy recovery from waste both in landfills and incinerators has also been addressed. The results outline how a separate collection approach can have a significant effect on the emission of greenhouse gases and how wise municipal solid waste management, implying the adoption of Best Available Technologies (i.e. biogas recovery and exploitation system in landfills and energy recovery system in Waste to Energy plants), can not only significantly reduce greenhouse gases emissions but, in certain cases, can also make the overall process a carbon sink. Moreover it has been shown that separate collection of plastic is a major issue when dealing with global warming relevant emissions from municipal solid waste management.