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Municipal Solid Waste Management

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 38542

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Guest Editor
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: waste management; circular economy; multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA); life cycle assessment (LCA)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Municipal solid waste (MSW) management faces interesting challenges related to climate change, circular economy, and dematerialization. Nowadays, MSW management seeks to focus on GHG reduction along with collection, treatment, and the final disposal chain. Furthermore, new paths related to smart cities, climate change, and the circular economy are becoming challenging issues. Additionally, food-waste prevention and reducing environmental impacts through multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) are emerging themes.

Collection strategies in low-density territories are also of high interest, since matter balances sustainability with universality. Another important subject is the rapid increase of artificial intelligence (AI), which is still sporadic with regard to household prevention and MSW collection.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to gather research articles focused on relevant trends, solutions, and sustainability improvements in MSW management.

A special (but not exclusive) emphasis is on the innovative solutions to improve the following:

  • Innovative attitudes on MSW and food-waste prevention;
  • Applications of artificial intelligence and smart-cities outlooks;
  • LCA and multicriteria decision analysis;
  • Original approaches for technoeconomic evaluation of curbside collection;
  • New paths on circular economy and recycling;
  • Accessibility, efficiency, and affordability in low-density territories;

Selected reviews, original case studies, and research articles are subject to trustworthy peer-review procedures seeking to achieve advances in MSW sustainability.

Prof. Carlos A. Teixeira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 2400 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 management
  • life-cycle assessment
  • global warming potential
  • waste collection efficiency
  • circular economy
  • smart cities
  • urban ecology
  • vehicle routing
  • selective collection
  • multicriteria decision analysis
  • curbside
  • containers

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 164 KiB  
Editorial
Municipal Solid Waste—Addressing Environmental Concerns
by Carlos Afonso Teixeira and Mariana Guerra
Sustainability 2024, 16(3), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16031235 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1437
Abstract
The current global situation demands a comprehensive and efficient approach to waste management to mitigate environmental impacts [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)

Research

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17 pages, 971 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Environmental Performance of Municipal Solid Waste Collection: A New Predictive LCA Model
by Alba Bala, Marco Raugei, Carlos Afonso Teixeira, Alberto Fernández, Francisco Pan-Montojo and Pere Fullana-i-Palmer
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115810 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3406
Abstract
Most existing life cycle assessment models of waste management have so far underplayed the importance of the waste collection phase, addressing it only in a simplified fashion, either by requesting the total amount of fuel used as a direct user input or by [...] Read more.
Most existing life cycle assessment models of waste management have so far underplayed the importance of the waste collection phase, addressing it only in a simplified fashion, either by requesting the total amount of fuel used as a direct user input or by calculating it based on a set of input parameters and fixed diesel consumption factors. However, if the main purpose of the study is to improve the efficiency of the collection system itself, a more detailed analysis of the collection phase is required, avoiding oversimplified and potentially misleading conclusions. The new LCA collection model presented here relies on a large number of parameters (number and type of containers, collection frequency, distances for the various legs of transport, etc.) and allows the detailed predictive analysis of alternative collection scenarios. The results of applying this newly developed model to a number of experimental case studies in Portugal are analyzed, discussed, and compared to those produced by a selection of pre-existing, more simplified models such as ORWARE and MSW-DST. The new model is confirmed as being the most accurate and, importantly, as the only one capable of predicting the consequences of a range of possible changes in the collection parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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29 pages, 5849 KiB  
Article
Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Site Selection Based on Fuzzy-AHP and Geoinformation Techniques in Asir Region Saudi Arabia
by Javed Mallick
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031538 - 1 Feb 2021
Cited by 68 | Viewed by 8807
Abstract
One of the main issues with solid waste management is finding appropriate sites for landfill. Non-scientific and inappropriate disposal practices have a negative impact on the environment which affects the quality of life. The study provides an integrated framework with a focus on [...] Read more.
One of the main issues with solid waste management is finding appropriate sites for landfill. Non-scientific and inappropriate disposal practices have a negative impact on the environment which affects the quality of life. The study provides an integrated framework with a focus on structuring the decision-making process for the landfill suitability site map. This could be determined by the use of proper data collection, criterion weighting and normalization. In order to understand the procedures that affect the suitability of landfill sites, the integrated GIS-based fuzzy-AHP-MCDA method was implemented to appropriate landfill site for Abha-Khamis-Mushyet located in Aseer region Following the extensive literature review and expert opinion, 10 themes were selected for this study such as drainage density, land use/land cover (LULC), slope, elevation, lineament density, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), rainfall, distance from the airport, distance from road, and geology. These themes have been developed through RS (remote sensing) and conventional data. Subsequently, potential landfill sites were identified and divided into five classes: very low suitable (fuzzy value 0.20–0.45), low suitable (0.46–0.55), moderately suitable (0.56–0.65), high suitable (0.66–0.75), and very high suitable (0.76–0.92). According to the statistical analysis, 23.91% and 3.67% of the total area were within a very good and good landfill area, while 38.14% and 22.84% accounted for the moderate and poor suitable zone, respectively. As a quality-based site, the existing two landfill sites were located over a very low suitable and low suitable potential area while one landfill site was located over the high suitable∙ The spatial variance of high and very high potential landfill site zones found in the north-eastern, east-central and south-eastern parts of the watershed. The sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the efficacy of each parameter and reveals that the effective weights for each theme differ slightly from the theoretical weight assigned to the landfill site suitability zone. This technique and its findings can provide an appropriate guideline to assist hydrogeologists, engineers, regional planners, and decision-makers in selecting an optimal landfill site in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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25 pages, 3190 KiB  
Article
Partnership towards Synergistic Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in a Coastal Tourism Sub-Region
by Surasak Jotaworn, Vilas Nitivattananon, Kyoko Kusakabe and Wenchao Xue
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010397 - 4 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3562
Abstract
Solid waste generated on land could potentially contribute continuously to marine waste, with current municipal solid waste management (MSWM) focusing on human-related activities as the main source. While there has been challenges and opportunities in the MSWM’s partnership in the growing waste generation [...] Read more.
Solid waste generated on land could potentially contribute continuously to marine waste, with current municipal solid waste management (MSWM) focusing on human-related activities as the main source. While there has been challenges and opportunities in the MSWM’s partnership in the growing waste generation for the coastal tourism area, the aim of this study is to explore public and private sectors as the key players to identify challenges, opportunities, and need for further analysis of the synergistic MSWM services in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Thailand. A mixed-method approach was adopted, including primary data collected through semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys. Content analysis, descriptive statistics, and chi-square tests were applied. The results show that the public sector has different MSWM strategies—with public-private partnership (PPP) and without PPP, with many challenges in the EEC region—while the private sector has a lot of potential for MSWM effectiveness. The synergistic opportunities from both sectors can therefore be considered for possible integration into four aspects: challenging synergies within the public sector, potential synergies via the private sector, synergies with a cross-sectoral partnership, and synergies through other types of partnership. Additionally, a synergic partnership was another appropriate approach for MSWM services enhancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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12 pages, 1292 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Sewage Sludge and Food Waste-Based Biochar for Co-Firing in a Coal-Fired Power Plant: A Case Study in Korea
by Yoonah Jeong, Ye-Eun Lee and I-Tae Kim
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9411; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229411 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2868
Abstract
Biomass co-firing in coal-fired power plants has been widely accepted to reduce the environmental burden. In this study, food waste (FW) and sewage sludge (SS), which are the main types of municipal organic waste, were selected as solid refuse fuel (SRF). To compensate [...] Read more.
Biomass co-firing in coal-fired power plants has been widely accepted to reduce the environmental burden. In this study, food waste (FW) and sewage sludge (SS), which are the main types of municipal organic waste, were selected as solid refuse fuel (SRF). To compensate for the limitations of FW and SS, a mixture of FW and SS with varying ratios was processed using pyrolysis and desalination. The fuel properties such as the calorific value, chlorine content, alkali and alkaline earth metallic species (AAEMs) content, and heavy metal content were determined. The calorific values of all biochars were greater than 12.6 MJ/kg, which satisfies the national threshold of Bio-SRF in Korea. Chlorine and AAEMs contents exhibited clear trends for the FW ratio and pyrolysis temperature. Increasing concentrations of heavy metals were observed with increasing SS ratio and pyrolysis temperature. These results provide important insights into the practical application of municipal waste-based biochar in coal-fired plants, as well as the influence of mixing ratio and pyrolysis temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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16 pages, 1738 KiB  
Article
Incentive Mechanism for Municipal Solid Waste Disposal PPP Projects in China
by Xueguo Xu, Tingting Xu and Meizeng Gui
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187686 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3236
Abstract
In municipal solid waste disposal public–private-partnership (PPP) projects, economic benefits, as well as social and ecological benefits, are critical in sustaining sustainability development. However, private investors may make more efforts for economic benefits than for social and ecological benefits out of self-interest. Because [...] Read more.
In municipal solid waste disposal public–private-partnership (PPP) projects, economic benefits, as well as social and ecological benefits, are critical in sustaining sustainability development. However, private investors may make more efforts for economic benefits than for social and ecological benefits out of self-interest. Because the government does not have the same information that the investors have, information asymmetry leads to opportunistic behavior. To solve these problems, principal–agent models were established to analyze the incentive mechanism for encouraging investors to adopt a positive attitude toward both economic benefits and social and ecological benefits, inhibiting investors’ opportunistic behavior. In particular, numerical simulation was carried out to analyze the relationships between related parameters (c1,c2,ct,a,β,k,λ,p). The results show that the investors with higher comprehensive abilities are more willing to make efforts for social and ecological benefits. An increase in incentive and governance intensity would help to encourage investors to make more efforts for project benefits and to lower the level of opportunistic behavior adopted by investors. The complexity of the task and the fuzziness of the perception of effort input results aggravate the uncertainty and risk of the projects due to information asymmetry. Therefore, real-time and positive incentives are important. In order to ensure the social and ecological benefits of a project, performance standards should be set according to the actual situation; investors prefer fixed compensation with lower risk, but fixed compensation does not have incentive effect, and the proportion should not be too high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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19 pages, 938 KiB  
Article
Methodology for Assessment of Alternative Waste Treatment Strategies Using Entropy Weights
by Zakariya Kaneesamkandi, Ateekh Ur Rehman, Yusuf Siraj Usmani and Usama Umer
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6689; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166689 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2896
Abstract
Energy recovery from municipal solid waste is one of the means to attain sustainable development. Multiple factors involving several location specific situations, both measurable and intangible, makes decision making for technology selection very difficult. In this paper, a multi criterion evaluation system for [...] Read more.
Energy recovery from municipal solid waste is one of the means to attain sustainable development. Multiple factors involving several location specific situations, both measurable and intangible, makes decision making for technology selection very difficult. In this paper, a multi criterion evaluation system for municipal solid waste treatment strategies is established on the basis of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and trackable situations, to prove the effectiveness of this method. From among various alternatives, three prominent strategies, namely, incineration, anaerobic digestion and composting are considered for the evaluation. Exhaustive data collection is done from conducting field studies, as well as from published data. Three types of communities are evaluated by this technique, namely, typical cities in developed countries, ‘A’ grade cities in India and ‘B’ grade cities in India. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effect of community specific situations on the right choice of waste disposal method using a technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) approach, where weights of criteria are determined by means of entropy weight method. The case study shows that the proposed evaluation results are reliable, which are more coincident with the reality, since the most relevant factors for selection have been used backed by exhaustive field data collection. Policy makers gain from the outcome of this study by guiding them through technology selection. So, the adopted approach should be promoted widely in the evaluation of waste treatment strategies, to realize sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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18 pages, 2981 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Municipal Waste Development and Management in Self-Governing Regions of Slovakia
by Marcela Taušová, Eva Mihaliková, Katarína Čulková, Beáta Stehlíková, Peter Tauš, Dušan Kudelas, Ľubomír Štrba and Lucia Domaracká
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5818; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145818 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3575
Abstract
In the European Union, basic strategy results from the need to provide intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive growth, along with respect to social and economic impacts of waste treatment. The paper focuses on municipal waste and its separation. Generally, within global waste management initiatives, [...] Read more.
In the European Union, basic strategy results from the need to provide intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive growth, along with respect to social and economic impacts of waste treatment. The paper focuses on municipal waste and its separation. Generally, within global waste management initiatives, the main goal is to minimize the negative effects of waste on the environment, as well as to increase and optimize the sources’ efficiency in the waste economy. Research on municipal waste development and its separation was done in individual regions of Slovakia to find if socially weaker regions have worse waste treatment. The results were compared according to the waste development per inhabitant and per household, as well as through rate indexes, which are connected to relationships between waste, social, and economic indexes. The results confirmed research results from other countries that show that the volume of municipal waste is increasing due to increased living standards of inhabitants. However, on the other hand, waste separation rates also increased—mainly based on the legislative support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Review

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21 pages, 3090 KiB  
Review
Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis: Two Under-Utilized Tools for Informing E-Waste Management
by Sohani Vihanga Withanage and Komal Habib
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147939 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 7164
Abstract
The unprecedented technological development and economic growth over the past two decades has resulted in streams of rapidly growing electronic waste (e-waste) around the world. As the potential source of secondary raw materials including precious and critical materials, e-waste has recently gained significant [...] Read more.
The unprecedented technological development and economic growth over the past two decades has resulted in streams of rapidly growing electronic waste (e-waste) around the world. As the potential source of secondary raw materials including precious and critical materials, e-waste has recently gained significant attention across the board, ranging from governments and industry, to academia and civil society organizations. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of the last decade of e-waste literature followed by an in-depth analysis of the application of material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA), i.e., two less commonly used strategic tools to guide the relevant stakeholders in efficient management of e-waste. Through a keyword search on two main online search databases, Scopus and Web of Science, 1835 peer-reviewed publications were selected and subjected to a bibliographic network analysis to identify and visualize major research themes across the selected literature. The selected 1835 studies were classified into ten different categories based on research area, such as environmental and human health impacts, recycling and recovery technologies, associated social aspects, etc. With this selected literature in mind, the review process revealed the two least explored research areas over the past decade: MFA and LCA with 33 and 31 studies, respectively. A further in-depth analysis was conducted for these two areas regarding their application to various systems with numerous scopes and different stages of e-waste life cycle. The study provides a detailed discussion regarding their applicability, and highlights challenges and opportunities for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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