An evaluation of alternative household solid waste treatment practices using life cycle inventory assessment mode.Environ Monit Assess. 2012 Jun; 184(6):3515-27.EM
Waste disposal is an important part of the life cycle of a product and is associated with environmental burdens like any other life-cycle stages. In this study, an integrated assessment for solid waste treatment practices, especially household solid waste, was undertaken to evaluate the impact contribution of household solid waste treatment alternatives towards the sustainable development by using Life Cycle Inventory Assessment method. A case study has been investigated under various possible scenarios, such as (1) landfill without landfill gas recovery, (2) landfill with landfill gas recovery and flaring, (3) landfill with landfill gas recovery and electric generation, (4) composting, and (5) incineration. The evaluation utilized the Life Cycle Inventory Assessment method for multiple assessments based on various aspects, such as greenhouse gas emission/reduction, energy generation/consumption, economic benefit, investment and operating cost, and land use burden. The results showed that incineration was the most efficient alternative for greenhouse gas emission reduction, economic benefit, energy recovery, and land use reduction, although it was identified as the most expensive for investment and operating cost, while composting scenario was also an efficient alternative with quite economic benefit, low investment and operating cost, and high reduction of land use, although it was identified as existing greenhouse gas emission and no energy generation. Furthermore, the aim of this study was also to establish localized assessment methods that waste management agencies, environmental engineers, and environmental policy decision makers can use to quantify and compare the contribution to the impacts from different waste treatment options.