Special Issue "Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Resources and Sustainable Utilization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Isabella Pecorini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Constructions Engineering (Destec), University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: Municipal Solid Waste; Environmental Impact Assessment; Solid Waste Management; Anaerobic Digestion; Recycling; Waste Treatment; Hazardous Waste Management; Waste Utilization; Bioenergy; Methane Production; Food Waste; Municipal Solid Waste Treatment; Biogas Purification; Landfill Gas; biofiltration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transition from a linear economy to a circular economy is currently one of the biggest challenges in the field of municipal solid waste management.

In this Special Issue, the management of municipal solid waste is studied from the perspective of the circular economy in order " to close the loop" and minimise greenhouse gases. A central issue concerns the study of safety and quality requirements for recycled materials and “end of waste” criteria. Papers of both fundamental research and applied research related to problems of interest to researchers, professionals and public officials involved in the management of municipal solid waste will be taken into consideration.

The main issues of interest from the point of view of the circular economy for this Special Issue on Municipal Solid Waste Management concern:

- Generation, Minimization and Characterization,

- Recycling, reuse and forms of material and energy recovery,

- Storage, collection, transport and transfer,

- Treatment (mechanical, biological, chemical, thermal, other),

- Landfill disposal and potential for enhanced landfill mining,

- Environmental assessments and planning,

- Economic analysis, policies and regulations,

- Decision tool and risk assessment analysis.

Dr. Isabella Pecorini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Circular Economy
  • Waste Treatment
  • Landfill
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas
  • Composting
  • Thermal Treatment
  • Life cycle analysis
  • MBT technology
  • Waste valorization
  • Greenhouse gas emission

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Municipal Solid Waste Management Practices and Challenges in the Southeastern Coastal Cities of Sri Lanka
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084556 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) has become a major challenge in Sri Lanka for post-conflict development activities. Many urban areas are facing severe problems in managing 10 to 50 metric tons of waste per day. However, limited research has been carried out to [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) has become a major challenge in Sri Lanka for post-conflict development activities. Many urban areas are facing severe problems in managing 10 to 50 metric tons of waste per day. However, limited research has been carried out to identify the key issues and policy gaps in MSWM. This research studies the existing complexities of MSWM processes, practices, and emerging challenges in three highly congested urban areas in the south-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. A mixed method strategy using field observations, semi-structured interviews and secondary data sources was employed for the data collection. The study revealed that, although the MSWM systems in the urban areas include all necessary elements, their effectiveness and efficiency are not satisfactory due to poor or non-segregation of waste at the source of generation; lack of resources; absence of regulation to reduce waste generation and control polluters; absence of regular collection schedule; and lack of technical know-how and initiatives. The recommendations drawn from the study include feasible solutions and immediate measures required to improve the MSWM before the related environmental and public health problems become a social catastrophe. The recommendations will also greatly contribute in the achievement of developing sustainable cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Mechanical Characteristics of Cement Mortar with Fine Recycled Concrete Aggregates (FRCA)
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010414 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 499
Abstract
One of the growing demands in concrete manufacture is the availability of natural fine aggregates, which account for 35% to 45% of the total concrete. An alternative method of disposal of fine recycled concrete aggregates (FRCA) generated from demolition and construction waste (C&DW) [...] Read more.
One of the growing demands in concrete manufacture is the availability of natural fine aggregates, which account for 35% to 45% of the total concrete. An alternative method of disposal of fine recycled concrete aggregates (FRCA) generated from demolition and construction waste (C&DW) is their usage in mortar and the development of recycled mortar. The main aim of this research work is to evaluate the viability of incorporating FRCA from urban C&DW for the manufacture of cement-based mortars. Simple processing techniques like washing and sieving are adopted to improve the FRCA quality. Physical and chemical characterization of ingredients is carried out. In total four mixes of 1:3 (cement: sand) mortar with partial replacement of normalized sand with FRCA (0%, 25%, 50%, and 100%) are evaluated for mechanical properties. Water to cement ratio for all four mortar mixes are determined by fixed consistency. Mechanical and physical properties like density, compressive strength, and flexural strength are studied for various curing periods, and the result is that the optimum usage of FRCA is 25% based on a 90-day curing period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
The Integration of Recycling Cooperatives in the Formal Management of Municipal Solid Waste as a Strategy for the Circular Economy—The Case of Londrina, Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10513; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410513 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 466
Abstract
In many developing countries, the informal recycling sector is responsible for reducing the amount of waste in landfills and supplying the needs of recycling industries. In the context of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, considering that developing countries aim to implement circular economy [...] Read more.
In many developing countries, the informal recycling sector is responsible for reducing the amount of waste in landfills and supplying the needs of recycling industries. In the context of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, considering that developing countries aim to implement circular economy (CE) actions, it is essential to ensure the inclusion of waste pickers (catadores) in an adapted CE structure. This study analyzes the integration of recycling cooperatives in the formal management of municipal solid waste with recyclable potential (MSWRP) of a medium-sized municipality in Brazil, with the objective of ascertaining the contributions of cooperatives in an adapted CE structure and, at the same time, identifying a cooperative that can be used as a benchmarking option for other cooperatives, especially in relation to their organizational and operational practices. The results indicate that from this integration, cooperatives have legal responsibility in the management of MSWRP, resulting in the professionalization of its members and increasing their productivity. The results also revealed that the implementation of the CE in developing countries is, in a sense, conditioned to the performance of the informal sector in the recycling chain and, in addition, that the inclusion of cooperatives in the formal sector of MSWRP management can improve the rates of a municipality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Statistical Approach for Assessing the Suitability of Substrates for a Biogas Plant
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219044 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 450
Abstract
In this paper, we focused on the statistical evaluation of inputs to a biogas plant processing a mixture of kitchen waste and agricultural crops to ensure stable biogas production. The aim of the research was to identify the components of the input substrates [...] Read more.
In this paper, we focused on the statistical evaluation of inputs to a biogas plant processing a mixture of kitchen waste and agricultural crops to ensure stable biogas production. The aim of the research was to identify the components of the input substrates that will ensure the maximum yield of CH4 and the substrates that increase the production of H2S. By a suitable combination of substrates, it is possible to optimize the production of biogas from the biogas plant. We analyzed a sample of 858 measurements, which were carried out in a selected biogas station for a period of 2.5 years. We were interested in differences in production of CH4, O2, and H2S outputs depending on the composition of inputs. From 17 inputs, 125 substrates were formed. The significance of the influence of individual substrates as categorical variables with the achieved numerical values was assessed by means of ANOVA analysis. Selected substrates were sorted based on CH4 and H2S production using graphical methods (bubble graphs) into four quadrants defining the desired and undesired values of the output variables. We identified a total of 20 suitable and 11 unsuitable substrates to produce quality biogas. Sorghum silage substrate was defined as a substrate that significantly increases the proportion of H2S in biogas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathways to Urban Sustainability: An Investigation of the Economic Potential of Untreated Household Solid Waste (HSW) in the City of São Paulo
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135249 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
The depletion of natural resources, the useful life of landfill sites, and the amount of garbage accumulating all challenge public policy to manage urban solid waste. We identified the economic potential for unused solid waste (HSW) in São Paulo in 2018 to be [...] Read more.
The depletion of natural resources, the useful life of landfill sites, and the amount of garbage accumulating all challenge public policy to manage urban solid waste. We identified the economic potential for unused solid waste (HSW) in São Paulo in 2018 to be USD 637,633,836.04 through descriptive quantitative research and documentary analysis in the collected data. This amount comes from five sources, with the majority coming from internalizing private cost credits (45.58%), followed by recycling (42.21%), carbon credits (5.46%), refuse-derived fuel (3.77%), and organic compounds (2.98%). This potential assumes the implantation of waste sorting plants that generate jobs, reduce public expenses, and provide environmental benefits such as forest protection, water, and minerals. The environmentally adequate final destination of HSW constitutes an economic and socio-environmental measure that enables the reverse logistics of the business sector and urban sustainability. Consequently, the economic potential of HSW, generated from its sorting and marketing, could provide a positive contribution with the mitigation of environmental impacts, in addition to income generation and social inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Mitigation of Methane, NMVOCs and Odor Emissions in Active and Passive Biofiltration Systems at Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083203 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Biofiltration systems are emerging technological solutions for the removal of methane and odors from landfill gas when flaring is no longer feasible. This work analyzed and compared two full-scale biofiltration systems: biofilter and biowindows. The emission mitigation of methane, non-methane volatile organic compounds [...] Read more.
Biofiltration systems are emerging technological solutions for the removal of methane and odors from landfill gas when flaring is no longer feasible. This work analyzed and compared two full-scale biofiltration systems: biofilter and biowindows. The emission mitigation of methane, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and odors during a two-year management and monitoring period was studied. In addition to diluted methane, more than 50 NMVOCs have been detected in the inlet raw landfill gas and the sulfur compounds resulted in the highest odor activity value. Both systems, biofilter and biowindows, were effective for the oxidation of methane (58.1% and 88.05%, respectively), for the mitigation of NMVOCs (higher than 80%) and odor reduction (99.84% and 93.82% respectively). As for the biofilter monitoring, it was possible to define the oxidation efficiency trend and in fact to guarantee that for an oxidation efficiency of 80%, the methane load must be less than 6.5 g CH4/m2h with an oxidation rate of 5.2 g CH4/m2h. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of MSW Compost and Digestate Mixtures for a Circular Economy Application
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073042 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
In order to obtain a product with agronomic characteristics and biological stability consistent with the EU fertilizer decree for the market of EU fertilising products three different mixtures obtained from sludge digestate from municipal wastewater treatment plant, fresh compost and mature compost have [...] Read more.
In order to obtain a product with agronomic characteristics and biological stability consistent with the EU fertilizer decree for the market of EU fertilising products three different mixtures obtained from sludge digestate from municipal wastewater treatment plant, fresh compost and mature compost have been studied and characterized. For the experimental activity, the raw samples and three mixing ones were collected for the analytical characterization. The biological stability was then assessed for all samples using different stability criteria such as Specific Oxygen Uptake Rate, Rottegrad self-heating factor, Residual biogas potential. Specific enzymatic tests provided information about the status of nutrient cycles (C, P and S) and to overall microbial activity. Physical (bulk density, particle density, air capacity and water content), nutritional (C, N, P, K, Mg, and Ca) and toxicological properties (seedling growth tests on Lepidum sativum L., Cucumis sativus L., Lolium perenne L.) were also evaluated in order to assess the feasibility of agronomic use of the digestate-based mixtures. All the digestate-based mixtures responded to the main characteristics of compost quality requirements proposed in national and international regulations. The evidence found in this study highlighted that the strategy of mixing of sludge digestates with the composts allowed to mitigate the environmental risk posed by each starting material and to valorize their nutrient content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Bromatological, Proximate and Ultimate Analysis of OFMSW for Different Seasons and Collection Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2639; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072639 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
In order to study the quality of organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), five different municipalities in Tuscany were chosen for sampling according to the peculiarities of their collection systems. The five collection systems selected were sampled four times: during March, June, [...] Read more.
In order to study the quality of organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), five different municipalities in Tuscany were chosen for sampling according to the peculiarities of their collection systems. The five collection systems selected were sampled four times: during March, June, September and December, for a total of 20 picking analyses. In addition, emphasis was also given to the study of the variability of OFMSW composition related to ultimate, proximate and bromatological analyses. Road container collection systems proved to have a higher content of non-compostable and undesirable fractions (22%±1%) when compared to door-to-door systems (6% ± 1%). During months with lower temperature (March and December), the garden waste content in the OFMSW was negligible, with kitchen waste prevailing. This altered the physical chemical composition of OFMSW, which had a lower lignin content and higher methane production in the months with lower temperatures (272 ± 23 NLCH4 kgTVS−1) compared to June and September (238 ± 14 NLCH4 kgTVS−1). In general, the Tuscan OFMSW had a higher dry matter content (42%) than observed in previous studies. In conclusion, the result could direct possible future operators of anaerobic digestion plants towards the choice of dry and semi-dry technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Characterization of Excavated Waste of Different Ages in View of Multiple Resource Recovery in Landfill Mining
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051780 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
With the aim of examining the forcing factors in postmanagement landfills, in this study, excavation waste from nonhazardous municipal waste landfill in Tuscany was characterized for the first time. The specific objective was to estimate the feasibility of sampling and analyzing the excavated [...] Read more.
With the aim of examining the forcing factors in postmanagement landfills, in this study, excavation waste from nonhazardous municipal waste landfill in Tuscany was characterized for the first time. The specific objective was to estimate the feasibility of sampling and analyzing the excavated waste in order to define its properties and provide information about possible landfill mining projects. Based on the biochemical methane potential assays, it was shown that the excavated waste had not yet been stabilized (i.e., with a production of 52.2 ± 28.7 NlCH4/kgTS) in the landfill, probably due to the low excavated waste moisture content (36% ± 6% w/w). Furthermore, excavated waste has a high calorific value, i.e., 15.2 ± 4.1 MJ/kg; the quantity of combustibles in the industrial shredder waste (16 MJ/kg) was rather modest compared to that of municipal solid waste (20.8 MJ/Kg). In conclusion, during large scale excavation of the landfill, it was possible to evaluate how a dedicated treatment plant could be designed to treat and select waste which might appear in a different category. For excavated industrial waste, detailed mechanical sorting may be convenient for end-of-waste recovery to improve calorific value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Circular Economy)
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