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Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios

Division of Environmental Strategies Research, Department of Sustainable development, Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Architecture and Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, University of Gävle, SE-801 76 Gävle, Sweden
Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, PO Box 210 60, SE-100 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: George Kosmadakis
Energies 2017, 10(2), 247;
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Waste Management)
Waste management has developed in many countries and will continue to do so. Changes towards increased recovery of resources in order to meet climate targets and for society to transition to a circular economy are important driving forces. Scenarios are important tools for planning and assessing possible future developments and policies. This paper presents a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) model for environmental assessments of scenarios and waste management policy instruments. It is unique by including almost all waste flows in a country and also allow for including waste prevention. The results show that the environmental impacts from future waste management scenarios in Sweden can differ a lot. Waste management will continue to contribute with environmental benefits, but less so in the more sustainable future scenarios, since the surrounding energy and transportation systems will be less polluting and also because less waste will be produced. Valuation results indicate that climate change, human toxicity and resource depletion are the most important environmental impact categories for the Swedish waste management system. Emissions of fossil CO2 from waste incineration will continue to be a major source of environmental impacts in these scenarios. The model is used for analyzing environmental impacts of several policy instruments including weight based collection fee, incineration tax, a resource tax and inclusion of waste in a green electricity certification system. The effect of the studied policy instruments in isolation are in most cases limited, suggesting that stronger policy instruments as well as combinations are necessary to reach policy goals as set out in for example the EU action plan on circular economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: waste management; life cycle assessment (LCA); environmental assessment; scenario assessment; waste policy assessment waste management; life cycle assessment (LCA); environmental assessment; scenario assessment; waste policy assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arushanyan, Y.; Björklund, A.; Eriksson, O.; Finnveden, G.; Ljunggren Söderman, M.; Sundqvist, J.-O.; Stenmarck, Å. Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios. Energies 2017, 10, 247.

AMA Style

Arushanyan Y, Björklund A, Eriksson O, Finnveden G, Ljunggren Söderman M, Sundqvist J-O, Stenmarck Å. Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios. Energies. 2017; 10(2):247.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arushanyan, Yevgeniya, Anna Björklund, Ola Eriksson, Göran Finnveden, Maria Ljunggren Söderman, Jan-Olov Sundqvist, and Åsa Stenmarck. 2017. "Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios" Energies 10, no. 2: 247.

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