Life cycle assessment in waste management

Use Of Life Cycle Assessment ( LCA ) In Waste Management

There is no unequivocal list of what waste is and what is non. However, the term “Waste” comprise the residues form family, may include municipal Parkss and garden waste, commercial or industrial waste ( DEFRA, 2007 ) . Clift & A ; Doig et Al. ( 2000 ) province that Waste direction is one of the holistic attacks for environmental and resource direction. Based on their research surveies it is mentioned that in order to measure the waste direction options usage of Life Cycle Assessment ( LCA ) application is necessary including the recent developments. They besides comment that LCA Waste Management is helpful in determination devising procedure as it is best seen as a manner of structuring information. As mentioned by Velumani & A ; Meenakshi ( 2007 ) . Municipal Solid Waste Management is one of the most incorporate parts in the urban development necessitating the part of the stakeholders such as different communities in the society, industrial sector etc. to bring forth environmentally friendly and pollution free system. The strategic options available for the waste direction are beginning decrease, land filling, composting recycling and incineration.

In order to measure the environmental impacts of waste disposal methods one should see all the activities required in pull offing the waste from the clip it leaves the house clasp to the point it arrives it ‘s concluding finish. In this respects we are looking at the bags and containers used in the waste aggregation, manner of conveyance of the waste to landfill and the intervention ( Bovea & A ; Powell, 2006 ) . These have important impacts in footings of land required, gaseous emanations and leachates. On the other manus the energy consumed in the operations and the emanations such as green house gases, methane and oxides of N released ( Velumani & A ; Meenakshi, 2007 ) .

LCA Waste Management

From the position of Ekvall & A ; Finnveden ( 2000 ) a big figure of LCA surveies have been performed to analyze the Waste direction options. Subsequently establishing on their research surveies it is stated hat different surveies ended up with different decisions due to the broad scope of methods and premises applied in the LCI phase of LCA. The research workers besides pinpointed that the LCA methodological analysis is applied in several states to measure different schemes for solid waste direction. Establishing on the research surveies done by Ozler & A ; Yetis et Al. ( 2006 ) it is stated that the LCA application is applied to the waste direction to find environmentally friendly options and to measure the environmental loads. In the past the Waste Management sector operated without or with a really less control over the composing of waste it receives. As a consequence of this more standardised attacks to the waste intervention and disposal have been brought into visible radiation to measure the benefits from sorting waste to comparing the options of stuff and energy recovery ( Clift & A ; Doig et Al. 2000 ) .

The research surveies done by Morselli & A ; Robertis et Al. ( 2008 ) point out that LCA methodological analysis is one of the best tool to measure the environmental impacts, saying in the background that it is standardized by ISO 14040, applied in the waste direction systems to compare different technological options when covering with the waste and in placing the most of import environmental impacts caused. The application of LCA in waste direction starts with set uping the “Functional Unit” which would be the sum of solid waste generated in the system boundary of concern ( Ozler & A ; Yetis et Al. 2006 ) . Following this the system boundary is defined, by and large from the minute waste is collected to the phase where it runs through the intervention procedure thereby going an emanation to air, H2O or in going a utile merchandise ( Demirer & A ; Ozler, 2005 ) . As stated by Coleman & A ; Masoni et Al. ( 2003 ) the LCI of waste direction aims to optimize the substructure system for pull offing given sum and the composing of waste in the position of established functional unit. The undermentioned figure1 represents the LCI boundary considered establishing on the functional unit.

Discussion on the LCI phase of LCA in Waste Management

The undermentioned study contains brief treatment on the considerations in measuring the environmental impacts, in the figure2. The analysis starts from the point waste is collected. In relation to this we must be looking at the followers:

  • Waste containers: From the numerical in the research surveies by Bovea & A ; Powell ( 2006 ) the mean life span of each container is estimated to be five old ages where the environmental impact may originate from rinsing them utilizing chemical reagents. The frequence of lavation is relative to the sum of waste. This could be considered as the H2O from the cleaning procedure may acquire assorted with the surface H2O thereby polluting the nearby watercourse.

  • Conveyance: Waste direction involves the usage of vehicles to reassign waste to the relevant sites and compactors for aggregation and reassign operations. Consideration is given as these operations, machines used in volume decrease and segregation, devour energy which is treated as inputs and the emanations such as CFC ‘s GHG ‘s and oxides of Nitrogen as end products ( Velumani & A ; Meenakshi, 2007 ) . The stock list informations is required to measure the environmental impacts. The information should include elaborate numerical figures about the emanations, heat produced and the sum of Diesel, gasoline consumed during the activities ( Bovea & A ; Powell, 2006 ) .

  • Land filling: As per the surveies of Brady ( 2005 ) landfill is the most prevailing path for waste disposal. Further doing a statement that in U.K around 60 % of waste is land filled harmonizing to U.K Government ‘s Waste scheme.

The most common hazard of an operational landfill site is noise taking to sound pollution and doing nuisance. Following this may be the impacts such as smell, airborne dust etc. The closed landfill sites have the hazard of toxic substances and leachates polluting dirt and land H2O. Hazard of methane gas being emitted thereby taking to explosion hazards every bit good as doing its part as one of the constituent of planetary heating ( Brady, 2000 ) .

  • Composting: In theoretical footings “Composting” is treating of organic waste to bring forth a dirt bettering stuff ( Brady, 2005 ) . In a reappraisal by Lou & A ; Nair ( 2009 ) , it is stated that composting is one of the alternate methods of waste direction. However it plays its function in breathing C dioxide ( Co2 ) , lending towards Green House Gases ( GHG ) . In add-on to this, possible emanations of CH4 due to the heterogenous nature of the compost heap. In order to measure the environmental impacts, consideration should be given to the feedstock which may run from green waste to solid waste to manure. Possible emanations of No2 which may be released due to either uncomplete ammonium oxidization or uncomplete denitrification ( Lou & A ; Nair, 2009 ) .

  • Incineration: It is the 2nd most common method for the disposal of waste. This procedure is used to cut down the sum of incoming municipal waste thereby change overing to ash and liquid discharges ( Narayana, 2009 ) . The ash may incorporate risky stuff which could frequently be metals and organic compounds. On the other manus the method of incineration besides contains air emanations which are in fact more hard to cover with than the original waste, thereby taking to inauspicious effects on the environing environment ( Narayana, 2009 ) . Consideration should be given in taking proper precautional stairss in order to avoid the flight of the emanations into free air and polluted liquids from run outing into surface Waterss. This is because the emanations to air may be in the signifier of dust, toxics such as dioxins and acid gases taking to acid deposition ( Brady, 2005 ) .

  • Recycling: It is one of the recycling methods where the organic waste is processed thereby bring forthing a useable stuff or merchandise. However it has its restrictions and impact on the environment. The consideration in this technique is the frequence of the stuffs being collected, sorted and transported. More frequent aggregation and transit could take to farther inauspicious impacts on the environment due to the emanations of GHG ‘s from the burning of fuels while transporting. This may farther take to Health & A ; Safety hazards, route congestion and environmental pollution. In add-on to this noise could be one of the impacts on the taking to resound pollution due to the machinery involved in recycling and hive awaying ( Powell & A ; Craighill, 1996 ) .

Following to this comes the LCIA phase of LCA which aims at understanding and measuring the magnitude and significance of the possible environmental impacts ( Clift & A ; Doig et al. , 2000 ) . It starts with the choice of impact classs, environmental impacts and the indexs. In this stage computing machine based package ‘s such as Eco-indicator, Sima Pro7, Tool for environmental Analysis and Management ( TEAM ) are used in order to measure the impacts such as Global heating, Odour, Noise, Acidification, Depletion of Stratospheric ozone etc establishing on the inputs and end products of the waste direction procedure ( Weidemal et al. , 2006 ) .

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