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Article

Assessing Urban Metabolism through MSW Carbon Footprint and Conceptualizing Municipal-Industrial Symbiosis—The Case of Zaragoza City, Spain

1
Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, Instituto CIRCE, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, 50003 Zaragoza, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Silvia Fiore
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212724
Received: 27 September 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 15 November 2021 / Published: 17 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Household Behaviors: Consumption and Mobility)
This paper proposes a holistic vision of the urban metabolism (UM), viewing the city as a subsystem within an industrial ecosystem (IE) in which municipal-industrial symbiosis is essential to achieve sustainability goals. For this purpose, the metabolism of a large Spanish city, Zaragoza, was studied by analyzing the main fractions of its MSW. A methodology based on carbon footprint (CF) was developed to analyze the environmental impact—in terms of CO2—of the influence of households’ behavior, the City Council’s strategies, and the main MSW fractions. Zaragoza’s IE represents a footprint of 931,250 CO2 tons for the fractions studied, of which 438,000 CO2 tons are due to organic fraction, 180,371 to plastics and 154,607 to paper and cardboard, which are the three most significant contributors. If households selectively separated 100% of their waste, the footprint would drop to 648,660 tons of CO2. Furthermore, monetary savings were quantified through the CO2 emissions price. The proposed methodology accounts for the CF of the whole IE, not just the city. Moreover, it enables the creation of Sankey diagrams to visualize the distribution of emissions of each subsystem, highlighting the importance of cooperation between the city and its recycling industries to reduce its CF. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban metabolism; MSW management; carbon footprint; industrial symbiosis; household’s behavior urban metabolism; MSW management; carbon footprint; industrial symbiosis; household’s behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Valero, A.; Torrubia, J.; Anía, M.Á.; Torres, A. Assessing Urban Metabolism through MSW Carbon Footprint and Conceptualizing Municipal-Industrial Symbiosis—The Case of Zaragoza City, Spain. Sustainability 2021, 13, 12724. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212724

AMA Style

Valero A, Torrubia J, Anía MÁ, Torres A. Assessing Urban Metabolism through MSW Carbon Footprint and Conceptualizing Municipal-Industrial Symbiosis—The Case of Zaragoza City, Spain. Sustainability. 2021; 13(22):12724. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212724

Chicago/Turabian Style

Valero, Antonio, Jorge Torrubia, Miguel Á. Anía, and Alicia Torres. 2021. "Assessing Urban Metabolism through MSW Carbon Footprint and Conceptualizing Municipal-Industrial Symbiosis—The Case of Zaragoza City, Spain" Sustainability 13, no. 22: 12724. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212724

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