Topical Collection "Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management"

Editor

Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
Website SciProfiles
Collection Editor
Insubria University of Varese, Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences – DiSTA, Via G.B. Vico, 46, 21100, Varese, Italy
Interests: waste management; air quality; renewable energy; environmental sustainability; circular economy; human health; sustainability; economic and risk management; occupational health and safety
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the trends in municipal solid waste (MSW) management under a circular economy perspective. The entire pathway of MSW management will be involved: From MSW characterization (with particular attention to the evolution of its composition because of the use of new products), to its source separated collection and technological solutions (to support citizens and the collection company), to its treatment in biochemical and thermochemical plants (with or without pre-treatment, including the Solid Recovered Fuel option), to the future role of landfilling. The integration of material recovery and energy recovery is expected to be discussed, taking into account the efficiency of the present and future plants. The role of biomethane from biogas treatment will be surely a topic of concern. Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of their contents.

Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Management
  • Treatment
  • Source separation
  • Energy recovery
  • Material recovery
  • Characterization
  • Biomethane

Published Papers (33 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019, 2018, 2017

Open AccessArticle
Local Nuances of Authoritarian Environmentalism: A Legislative Study on Household Solid Waste Sorting in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2522; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062522 - 23 Mar 2020
Abstract
Faced with an unprecedented increase in the amount of solid waste, China aims to tighten its waste management regulation. Corresponding local policy experiments are encouraged. This study explores China’s authoritarian environmentalism through an examination of local legislations on Household Solid Waste (HSW) sorting. [...] Read more.
Faced with an unprecedented increase in the amount of solid waste, China aims to tighten its waste management regulation. Corresponding local policy experiments are encouraged. This study explores China’s authoritarian environmentalism through an examination of local legislations on Household Solid Waste (HSW) sorting. We present a full picture of relevant local legislation from five key dimensions: local legislative outputs, local standards of HSW classifications, reward and penalty provisions, the use of the social credit system and duties imposed on local governments. We then compare policy-making models based on the experience of Shanghai and Guangzhou. We find China’s HSW sorting policy has been dominated by the central state. The local lawmaking process is generally non-transparent and non-participative. When attempting to mobilize the public, local policymakers emphasize educating the public about “how to” instead of “why to sort wastes”. Also, while the central waste management policies are generally undermined locally, some sub-national governments do demonstrate a strong commitment to push the national policy through. Multiple factors account for this pattern. Though civic engagement did emerge in certain localities where civil society was relatively active, authoritarian environmentalism will continue to prevail in China in the near future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation into Creep Characteristics and Model of Recycled Construction and Demolition Waste Used in Embankment Filler
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051924 - 03 Mar 2020
Abstract
The creep deformation of recycled construction and demolition waste (CDW) filler is an important factor affecting road performance. In this paper, a series of laboratory tests, including a compaction test, sieving test, California bearing ratio (CBR) test, creep test and unloading test are [...] Read more.
The creep deformation of recycled construction and demolition waste (CDW) filler is an important factor affecting road performance. In this paper, a series of laboratory tests, including a compaction test, sieving test, California bearing ratio (CBR) test, creep test and unloading test are conducted on CDW filler. The engineering properties of different ratios of CDW mixture are systematically analyzed, the CBR value of CDW filler meets the requirements of an embankment. The creep type of CDW filler under a test load is stable creep, the results of the creep characteristics are analyzed from a microscopic point of view. The filler with a 7:2:1 ratio (brick slag: concrete: mortar) has the densest structure, which is dense and less porous, and the deformation is the smallest. Reasonable proportion control is the key to reducing embankment deformation. The improved Burgers model, which can better describe the creep characteristics of CDW filler, and the effects of load and ratio on the creep parameters are analyzed using the equivalent creep compliance. This study is of great significance for the promotion of CDW and meets the requirements of sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Uncover Cost-Benefit Disparity of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration in Chinese Provinces
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020697 - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
Incineration has been regarded as a promising method to respond to municipal solid waste (MSW) challenges. However, its high cost and health impacts are the main barriers to the development of incineration. This study aims to investigate the cost-benefit of MSW incineration in [...] Read more.
Incineration has been regarded as a promising method to respond to municipal solid waste (MSW) challenges. However, its high cost and health impacts are the main barriers to the development of incineration. This study aims to investigate the cost-benefit of MSW incineration in 31 Chinese provinces to identify the regional disparity of incineration policy in China. Life cycle environmental impacts and costs were analyzed using the life cycle assessment software Gabi 8.0 and method CML-2001. Results show that MSW disposal costs, Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Eutrophication Potential (EP) will decline significantly with the increase in incineration rate for all Chinese provinces, while the environmental impacts of Human Toxicity Potential (HTP), Ozone Layer Depletion Potential (OLDP) and Terrestric Ecotoxicity Potential (TETP) increase the trend. Economically developed and populated provinces such as Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shandong have both a higher incineration volume and incineration potential. As for the cost-benefit analysis, developed provinces such as Guangdong, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin exhibit the highest cost-benefit in toxic impacts of HTP, TETP and ODP. Northern provinces such as Jilin, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Hebei have the lowest cost-benefit in toxic impacts but have the highest cost-benefit in GWP and EP. Finally, policy remarks on incineration cost, priority provinces, integration of sorting and incineration are also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of the Individual Attitude in the Risk Decision of Waste Incinerator Construction: Cellular Automaton Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010368 - 02 Jan 2020
Abstract
In current work, the phenomenon of NIMBY (not in my back yard) for a municipal solid waste incinerator was recognized through an investigation for the evolution of individual risk attitude to group risk attitude (ItGRA). The cellular automaton model was employed to evaluate [...] Read more.
In current work, the phenomenon of NIMBY (not in my back yard) for a municipal solid waste incinerator was recognized through an investigation for the evolution of individual risk attitude to group risk attitude (ItGRA). The cellular automaton model was employed to evaluate the risk attitude status with different frequencies of social interaction between residents. In the simulation case, the risk attitude of residents in the pseudo-rational state and non-pseudo-rational state was evaluated, which indicates the sheep-flock effect on the exaggeration of public NIMBY attitude. To the incinerator, the individual risk attitude evolved to supportive group risk attitude at a social interaction frequency 100 times higher than that in family or local neighborhoods, when the initial number of residents in opposition and support was equal. This was supported by the result of the model in the evaluation of resident risk attitude around the incinerator in Shanghai. On the contrary, for those in a non-pseudo-rational state, the ultimate group risk attitude depends on the probability that the residents have a supportive or opposing risk attitude as the concept of individuals was difficult to change. Accordingly, the decision strategy of incinerator construction should consider the influence of the sheep-flock effect, which can increase the attitude of residents in support and lead to the evolution of a group risk attitude to support attitude. Therefore, this study provides insight into the evolution of public attitude to NIMBY attitude and a promising evaluation method to quantify and guide the individual and group risk attitudes. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2020, 2018, 2017

Open AccessArticle
An Innovative Route to Circular Rigid Plastics
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226284 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
An innovative route for plastics recycling is proposed, based on a combination of a logarithmic sorting process and colour plus high-resolution near-infrared (NIR) sensors. Although counterintuitive, it is shown that such a technology could sort clean flakes from rigid packaging waste into a [...] Read more.
An innovative route for plastics recycling is proposed, based on a combination of a logarithmic sorting process and colour plus high-resolution near-infrared (NIR) sensors. Although counterintuitive, it is shown that such a technology could sort clean flakes from rigid packaging waste into a very large number of different plastic grades with modest sorter capacity, provided that the chosen sensor is able to differentiate correctly between any two grades of plastics in the waste. Tests with high-resolution NIR on single pixels of transparent flakes from different types and brands of packaging show that this is indeed the case for a selection of 20 different packaging items bought from shops. Moreover, the results seem to indicate, in line with previous research, that high-resolution NIR data can be linked to important physical plastic properties like the melt flow viscosity and tensile strength. The attraction of deep sorting of waste plastics with relatively cheap sensors and modest sorter capacity is that the present industrial practice of tuning plastic grades to specific applications could coexist with commercial high-grade recycling at high levels of circularity and low carbon footprint. Therefore, advanced recycling technology is likely to be a societal alternative to phasing out plastics for rigid applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Entrepreneurial Innovation Impact on Recycling Municipal Waste. A Panel Data Analysis at the EU Level
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185125 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Based on recent findings of the economic literature on the implications of entrepreneurial innovation for recycling municipal waste, this paper aims to examine the main factors of recycling municipal waste at the European Union (EU) level. In this study, the authors developed a [...] Read more.
Based on recent findings of the economic literature on the implications of entrepreneurial innovation for recycling municipal waste, this paper aims to examine the main factors of recycling municipal waste at the European Union (EU) level. In this study, the authors developed a linear regression model to analyze the relationship between business expenditure on research and development (R&D), private investments, gross domestic product (GDP) expenditures on R&D, resource productivity, and environmental taxes on the recycling rate of municipal waste (RRMW). In our analyses, we used data from the Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT) and five statistical hypotheses were validated through a multiple regression model with panel data using the statistical software EViews 11. The study was conducted in 27 European Union countries between 2010 and 2017. Our results indicate that business expenditure on R&D, private investments, GDP expenditures on R&D, and resource productivity have a direct and significant impact on the RRMW, while environmental taxes have a significant and inverse impact on the RRMW. These findings underline that public policies should be focused on increasing the use of private and public investments on R&D for recycling municipal waste. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Universiti Putra Malaysia and Its Potential for Green Energy Production
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3909; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143909 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The global waste generation keeps increasing over the years and it requires innovative solutions to minimize its impacts on environmental quality and public health. A strategic plan must be ascertained to overcome the future challenges of Municipal solid waste (MSW) locally and globally. [...] Read more.
The global waste generation keeps increasing over the years and it requires innovative solutions to minimize its impacts on environmental quality and public health. A strategic plan must be ascertained to overcome the future challenges of Municipal solid waste (MSW) locally and globally. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) coined an initiative to demonstrate a showcase pilot plant for green energy production from MSW. The data was obtained from the survey and actual sampling within the UPM compound shows that UPM has generated 5.0–7.0 t/d of MSW generated consist of 30–35% organic fraction. Restaurants are the main source of the organic fraction. Upon separation, the organic fractions were digested into biogas. At a maximum conversion of the organic fraction, 715 kWh of electricity might be generated from the 2.2 t/d of organic waste generated in UPM. In this study, organic components from UPM were proposed to be subsequently used as a substrate via anaerobic digestion to produce green energy in the form of electricity or flammable fuels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Using Calcined Water Treatment Sludge in Rendering Mortars: A Technical and Sustainable Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133576 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Many current industrial processes, such as water treatment, produce large amounts of waste. The water treatment sludge (WTS) must be properly disposed of and/or used as raw material for application in other sectors, such as the construction industry. The rendering mortar production can [...] Read more.
Many current industrial processes, such as water treatment, produce large amounts of waste. The water treatment sludge (WTS) must be properly disposed of and/or used as raw material for application in other sectors, such as the construction industry. The rendering mortar production can be an environmentally friendly alternative to recycle the WTS, this being the object of this research. In this way, mortars were produced with 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10% calcined WTS to replace natural sand. The water absorption, compressive strength, bond strength, and flexural strength properties were evaluated. A natural carbonation was carried out for the determination of CO2 uptake due to carbonation. The results showed that the incorporation of calcined WTS has an influence on all the properties evaluated. Considering 50 years of service life, the CO2 uptake potential for mortar with 10% calcined sludge WTP is 111 kg CO2/t. In the sustainability approach, it was observed that CO2 uptake due to carbonation is higher in mortars with the addition of WTS, and could be an environmentally friendly alternative that compensates emissions from the cementitious materials production. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Application Status of Co-Processing Municipal Sewage Sludge in Cement Kilns in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123315 - 15 Jun 2019
Abstract
Municipal sewage sludge (MSS) disposal is an urgent issue in China with the continuous growth of sewage treatment capacity. Among various disposal methods, co-processing of MSS in cement kilns has been one of the most promising disposal methods in recent years. The present [...] Read more.
Municipal sewage sludge (MSS) disposal is an urgent issue in China with the continuous growth of sewage treatment capacity. Among various disposal methods, co-processing of MSS in cement kilns has been one of the most promising disposal methods in recent years. The present situation of sewage treatment and sludge disposal, the development of co-processing MSS in a cement kiln, and main disposal routes in China were discussed in this study. The results indicated that China had paid considerable attention to the technology and released correlative policies in the past few years. There were about 35 co-processing projects built in China, all of which were limited by construction scale and pollutant emissions. Due to differences in construction methods and economic conditions, China’s co-processing projects mainly employed three routes—direct addition to a transition chamber, addition to a precalciner after direct thermal drying, and addition to a precalciner after indirect drying. Summarizing and analyzing the characteristics of MSS co-processing would facilitate its development in China and similar regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LCA of a Consortium-Based MSW Management System to Quantify the Decrease in Environmental Impacts Achieved for Increasing Separate Collection Rates and Other Modifications
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102810 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, the collection, transport, and treatment phases (including the management of products and processing residues) of six fractions of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the Sinistra Piave Basin (Veneto, Italy), a consortium of 44 municipalities, were analyzed by life-cycle assessment [...] Read more.
In this study, the collection, transport, and treatment phases (including the management of products and processing residues) of six fractions of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the Sinistra Piave Basin (Veneto, Italy), a consortium of 44 municipalities, were analyzed by life-cycle assessment (LCA). Specifically, two different scenarios were assessed for paper and cardboard, glass, multi-material (plastics and metals), food waste, garden waste, and dry residual fraction management, one referring to the year 2015 and the other to 2004. The primary aim was to investigate what consequences the increase in separate collection rates progressively achieved by the consortium (65% in 2004 versus to 80% in 2015) exerted on the management system and its potential environmental impacts. For each scenario, the type of separate collection method employed (door-to-door in 2015, and mixed door-to-door and curbside collection in 2004), the collected amounts, the geographic location of the main sorting/treatment plants, and the type of treatments applied to manage the products and processing residues were considered. The results of the study indicate that, among the variations that occurred in the management system for the two considered years, the increase in separate collection rate achieved was the factor that most affected all of the potential environmental impacts taken into account. In particular, for the 2015 scenario, differently from the 2004 one, all of the categories considered (apart from ecotoxicity) were negative, indicating savings instead of impacts. Treatment was the stage that by far mostly affected potential environmental savings, with regard to paper and cardboard recycling in particular. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Amount of Disposed Antibiotics
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061800 - 25 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The impact of the antibiotics in the environment is not well understood yet. Moreover, the total amount of antibiotics that are ending up in the environment as solid waste is not known and cannot be rigorously determined as many variables are influencing the [...] Read more.
The impact of the antibiotics in the environment is not well understood yet. Moreover, the total amount of antibiotics that are ending up in the environment as solid waste is not known and cannot be rigorously determined as many variables are influencing the determination of their concentration. The present article is focused on the estimation of the amount of non-prescribed antibiotics that are used in different European countries. Particular attention is paid to the class of beta-lactams, as they are responsible for a considerate share of the antimicrobial resistance. The primary purpose was the estimation of the quantity of non-prescribed antibiotics that might reach the environment as solid waste. For the present study, we used the ECDC and EUROSTAT reported data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Digestion Procedure and Determination of Heavy Metals in Sewage Sludge—An Analytical Problem
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061753 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Huge amounts of sewage sludge produced globally is a substantial environmental threat and require rational handling. Application in agriculture is an economical and relatively simple method of sludge management, however, it is associated with restrictions regarding metals content. According to EU regulations, the [...] Read more.
Huge amounts of sewage sludge produced globally is a substantial environmental threat and require rational handling. Application in agriculture is an economical and relatively simple method of sludge management, however, it is associated with restrictions regarding metals content. According to EU regulations, the total amounts of Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb, Ni, and Zn have to be analyzed by the AAS technique requiring effective destruction of the organic matrix. Currently used methods of sewage sludge digestion may be biased when applied without optimization. The aim of the presented work was to evaluate the efficiency of the organic substances destruction in either raw or stabilized sludge. Three mineralization procedures were evaluated, namely: (A)—drying and microwave digestion; (B)—ignition and microwave digestion; (C)—drying and conventional digestion. For matrix destruction, a mixture of concentrated HNO3 and HCl (3:1 v/v) was used. Metals were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). No limits of metal concentration were overdrawn. Generally, the method (B) was the most effective. Results obtained for Cu, Cd, and Zn after digestion by method (A) and (B) were comparable. Methods (B) and (C) yield complete decomposition of the matrix. As result, the precision of measurement substantially increases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of the Quality and Microstructure of Biodegradable Composites as Contribution towards Better Management of Food Industry Wastes
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051504 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Biowastes from the food industry can be applied as a usable material after appropriate treatment (i.e., agglomeration). Biowastes are materials that could have better properties if they are mixed. Brewery and oilseed wastes were compressed and evaluated by their quality and microstructure. This [...] Read more.
Biowastes from the food industry can be applied as a usable material after appropriate treatment (i.e., agglomeration). Biowastes are materials that could have better properties if they are mixed. Brewery and oilseed wastes were compressed and evaluated by their quality and microstructure. This article presents the influence of food wastes’ type on their biodegradable composite properties. Rapeseed cake and brewer’s threshing were used separately and mixed in three different proportions: 30:70, 50:50, 70:30. The data were obtained by mechanical testing on the Instron machine with different pressure forces of 30,000 N and 50,000 N. Strength and elasticity parameters, expansion after the test and in 24 h were estimated. The characteristics such as density, relaxation and compaction after the agglomeration process of biomass allows the selection of the best material and method for optimal composite quality. The results show an upward trend in composite density with decreasing content of brewery waste in a sample. Rapeseed cake can be considered as the material more susceptible to the compaction process. In addition to material properties and its lower density, the reason may be due to the granulometric composition of particles, density and particle size which was confirmed by SEM structure observations. Images of composites were analyzed on the basis of morphological plant tissue structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics and Forecasting of Municipal Solid Waste Generation in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051433 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The clear understanding of characteristics and trends of solid waste generation is essential for the optimization of waste collection and treatment systems. Taking 651 cities in China as a sample, this study adopts correlation analysis and the Q-type clustering model to explore the [...] Read more.
The clear understanding of characteristics and trends of solid waste generation is essential for the optimization of waste collection and treatment systems. Taking 651 cities in China as a sample, this study adopts correlation analysis and the Q-type clustering model to explore the characteristics and general trends of solid waste generation (SWG) of five cities of different scale from 2007 to 2016. The results show that the trends of average amount and the annual per capita SWG are diversified in cities of different scale. The permanent residents and regional GDP have prominent impacts on SWG in large cities, megacities, and super megacities compared to those from small and medium-sized cities. The urban area is highly correlated with the SWG of all cities. Nearly one third of cities are characterized by high population density, high economic growth and low SWG. Furthermore, the factor models are developed to forecast the amount of SWG, which have a descriptive capacity of 96%, 95.4%, 92.6%, and 84.2% for the overall cities, large cities, medium-sized cities and small cities respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of the Feasibility of the Organic Municipal Solid Waste Processing by Coking
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020389 - 14 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
In the context of transition to a circular economy, one of the strategic priorities is the development of technological innovations aimed at waste processing. In this study, the foundations have been developed for a low-temperature, environmentally safe method for efficient processing of organic [...] Read more.
In the context of transition to a circular economy, one of the strategic priorities is the development of technological innovations aimed at waste processing. In this study, the foundations have been developed for a low-temperature, environmentally safe method for efficient processing of organic municipal solid waste, which may be further applied for processing both municipal and industrial waste organics in order to obtain liquid products. The maximum yield of liquid products is ensured when conducting the coking of a mixture of organic waste with long residuum in the temperature range of 400–420 °C, with a heating rate of 5–70 °C/min, and with an optimal heating time to the coking temperature of 80 min. Recommendations on the use of the waste recycling products are given. The proposed process is consistent with the principles of circular economy and does not require external energy costs because the energy needed for the process is generated by burning the gas produced during the waste coking. The process does not produce emissions into the environment and, in combination with standard refining processes, can be used to obtain commercial petroleum products. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Assessment of Physicochemical and Nutritional Characteristics of Waste Mushroom Substrate Biochar under Various Pyrolysis Temperatures and Times
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010277 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The prime objective of biochar production is to contribute to nutrients recycling, reducing waste and converting useful bio-wastes into carbon rich products in the environment. The present study was intended to systematically evaluate the effect of pyrolysis conditions and characteristics of feedstock influencing [...] Read more.
The prime objective of biochar production is to contribute to nutrients recycling, reducing waste and converting useful bio-wastes into carbon rich products in the environment. The present study was intended to systematically evaluate the effect of pyrolysis conditions and characteristics of feedstock influencing the generation of biochar. The study revealed the nutritional importance of waste mushroom substrate (WMS) biochar which may elevate soil nutritional status and soil quality. The results showed that the yields and properties of WMS biochar depended principally on the applied temperature where pyrolysis at higher temperatures, that is, 600 °C and 700 °C produced biochar having high ash, P and K contents. Moreover, numerous useful macro and micro nutrients such as Ca, Mg, Fe and Zn were observed to positively correlate with the increase in temperature. The WMS biochar in our study is highly alkaline which can be used to rectify acidic soil pH. Overall our results suggest that WMS biochar being a rich source of nutrients can be the best remedy to maintain and further enhance the soil nutritional status. Thus by interpreting biochar feedstock characteristics and pyrolysis conditions, the regulation of tailored WMS biochar manufacturing and application in soil can be facilitated. Full article
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2018

Jump to: 2020, 2019, 2017

Open AccessArticle
Research on Mixed and Classification Simulation Models of Medical Waste—A Case Study in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114226 - 16 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Medical waste has strict classification standards. However, in reality, the process of collection and disposal of most medical waste does not strictly follow the corresponding standards, thus resulting in great potential risks to people’s health. Our research analyzed existing problems with medical waste [...] Read more.
Medical waste has strict classification standards. However, in reality, the process of collection and disposal of most medical waste does not strictly follow the corresponding standards, thus resulting in great potential risks to people’s health. Our research analyzed existing problems with medical waste classification management, optimized the medical waste recycling business model, and then used the simulation software AnyLogic to design mixed and classification simulation models based on current literature regarding the standards of medical waste classification and composition in China. Furthermore, we simulated and calculated the generation of nonrecyclable medical waste, recyclable medical waste, and domestic waste in the three models based on 30,000 tons of medical waste generated in Beijing in 2015. We compared and analyzed the output, generation rate, disposal cost, recycling revenue, and cost–benefit based on the disposal cost standards of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform and the China Renewable Resources Price Index in Beijing. The importance of strengthening the classification and recycling of medical waste was further validated by modeling and simulation. The study provides an important reference to hospitals, disposal plants, and government regulatory departments in their decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Municipal Solid Waste Management from the Experience of São Leopoldo/Brazil and Zurich/Switzerland
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3716; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103716 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The challenge of developing country governments in municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is complex, often ineffective, and does not meet the required technical sustainability, which involves environmental, social, and financial aspects. The purpose of this research is to analyze two distinct waste management [...] Read more.
The challenge of developing country governments in municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is complex, often ineffective, and does not meet the required technical sustainability, which involves environmental, social, and financial aspects. The purpose of this research is to analyze two distinct waste management systems, in São Leopoldo (Brazil) and in Zurich (Switzerland), to develop a tool called “waste stream mapping” and also to compare the cities systems. The results show positively that the two municipalities have selective waste collection, however in São Leopoldo it was found that less volume was reinserted in the production chain, which considerably increases the volume of waste sent to sanitary landfill, which is the main method of disposal in Brazil. On the other hand, the Zurich management model is more expensive, especially compared to incineration, but its billing and power trading system ends up involving more of the population and paying for the operations, as Zurich generates more income than expenses. This study shows that each stage of waste management has its peculiarity and everything should be planned. The tool adapted from Value Stream Mapping has shown that it is useful to have a broad vision about the municipal solid waste management to be implemented. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Reduction of Nitrates in Waste Water through the Valorization of Rice Straw: LIFE LIBERNITRATE Project
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093007 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
An improved and more sustainable waste management system is required for successful development of technologies based on renewable sources. Rice straw is submitted to controlled combustion reactions and the produced ashes are chemically treated to produce silica. After a chemical activation step, the [...] Read more.
An improved and more sustainable waste management system is required for successful development of technologies based on renewable sources. Rice straw is submitted to controlled combustion reactions and the produced ashes are chemically treated to produce silica. After a chemical activation step, the activated silica shows potential as an adsorbent agent and will be used to remove the excess of nitrates in groundwater and wells in the area of Alginet (Valencia, Spain), selected as a vulnerable zone within the Nitrates Directive. The demonstration activity aims to have a local impact on municipalities of 200 inhabitants or fewer, decreasing from current nitrate concentrations close to 50 mg/L, to a target of 25 mg/L. In a successive step, the methodology will be transferred to other municipalities with similar nitrate problems (Piemonte, Italy) and replicated to remove different pollutants such as manure (the Netherlands) and waste waters from the textile industry (Italy). Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Aspects Regarding the Pharmaceutical Waste Management in Romania
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2788; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082788 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 29
Abstract
The issue of drug disposal, as well as the development and implementation of efficient collection strategies, represents an important concern at the highest European level. This research looks into the factors that could have an impact on the efficiency of pharmacies in collecting [...] Read more.
The issue of drug disposal, as well as the development and implementation of efficient collection strategies, represents an important concern at the highest European level. This research looks into the factors that could have an impact on the efficiency of pharmacies in collecting and disposing the medicinal waste of the population. There were 521 pharmacists from all over the country who filled in a questionnaire on their opinion/attitude related to the system of collecting and disposing the pharmaceutical waste of the population. Of the surveyed pharmacists, 16% work in pharmacies that do not collect unused/expired drugs from the population, and nearly 33% of those investigated have refused, at least once, to take the unused medicines from the people. Pharmacists’ most important reasons for refusing to collect the pharmaceutical waste were the lack of procedure, incomplete legislation, exceeding the amount contracted with the operators, and high costs. Results show that pharmacies in Romania face several deficiencies in the pharmaceutical waste collection services. The lack of implemented programs has contributed considerably to lower standards of pharmaceutical waste management in Romania. This study is the first research on this topic in Romania, a country where the management of drug-based waste generated by the population is at the beginning. The results shown in this survey can provide a reference point for competent authorities in developing and implementing a take-back program for waste medicine whose efficiency is superior to the existing ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Air Pollution from Household Solid Waste Open Burning in Thailand
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072553 - 20 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess household solid waste management in areas governed by local administrative organizations (LAOs). The obtained results would be used to assess the amount of air pollution emitted from household solid waste open burning. A survey was [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess household solid waste management in areas governed by local administrative organizations (LAOs). The obtained results would be used to assess the amount of air pollution emitted from household solid waste open burning. A survey was employed, through the use of questionnaires, to collect data from a random sample of 4300 households residing in areas governed by 96 LAOs. According to the results, it was evident that a total of 26.17 Mt of solid waste were generated per year, of which 6.39 Mt/year was not collected by the LAOs and was eliminated by households. Moreover, the percentage of waste burned on or outside the households’ property was 53.7%, or an equivalent of 3.43 Mt/year of solid waste burned in open areas. In addition, it was found that 0.66 Mt/year of solid waste collected by the LAOs was burned in open areas and was not eliminated properly. Hence, the total amount of solid waste from these two sources was 4.09 Mt/year, which resulted in the emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide, and particulate matter of 1247.3 kt/year, 103.0 kt/year, 1.2 kt/year, 7.4 kt/year, and 19.6 kt/year, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Pilot-Scale Anaerobic Co-Digestion of the OFMSW: Improving Biogas Production and Startup
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061939 - 10 Jun 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
This paper presents experimental results regarding anaerobic co-digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and fruit and vegetable waste in order to establish the efficiency of a 2 m3 volume pilot plant in terms of biogas and methane yield and [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental results regarding anaerobic co-digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and fruit and vegetable waste in order to establish the efficiency of a 2 m3 volume pilot plant in terms of biogas and methane yield and stability of the process. The research study presents the feasibility of developing anaerobic digestion as an effective method for municipal solid waste management. The experiments were conducted in mesophilic conditions (35 °C). Domestic waste water was used as inoculum. The results showed that the inoculum presence, temperature, and pH control, were essential in order to improve biogas production and its composition. Using liquid inoculum, the CH4 percentage in the biogas oscillated between 44% and 51%, and the biogas production from 0.504 and 0.6 m3/day. Compared to domestic waste water, animal manure increased the CH4 concentration in biogas (up to 63%), while the daily biogas production increased by 26% and varied from 0.693 to 0.786 m3. The cumulative biogas production at the end of the experiments were 11.7 m3 and 15.89 m3, respectively. Using inoculum and co-digestion, the plant startup time was significantly reduced, the total solids content decreased from 22.7% to 19.8%, while the volatile solids decreased from 37.6% to 31.2%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of the Impacts of Compulsory Source-Separated Policy in Improving Household Solid Waste-Sorting in Pilot Megacities, China: A Case Study of Nanjing
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051327 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Source-separated policy is very important for household solid waste (HSW) management in global megacities. The low proportion of source-separated collection has led to a low comprehensive utilization rate of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China. In March 2017, the Chinese government required major [...] Read more.
Source-separated policy is very important for household solid waste (HSW) management in global megacities. The low proportion of source-separated collection has led to a low comprehensive utilization rate of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China. In March 2017, the Chinese government required major cities to fully implement compulsory source-separated systems by 2020. To determine policy impacts and efficiency in improving HSW sorting, the government launched a mandatory MSW source-separated program in Nanjing in November 2016. A household survey was implemented in three types of 11 communities over a period of 10 weeks. The results showed that approximately 52% of the respondents supported the mandatory policy and that household size was the most important sociodemographic factor influencing the support of the source separation policy. Income, gender, age, and knowledge play significant roles in different groups of respondents. This mandatory policy effectively improved the source-separated rate of HSW by 49.7%. Source-separated facilities investment, publicity investment, and special supervision coverage in these communities had significant positive effects on source-separated HSW. Every 1 million CNY investment in source-separated facilities and publicity will increase the source-separated rate of HSW by 1.1%. A 1.0% increase of special supervision coverage in communities can increase the source-separated rate by 3.6%. The findings from this study may help improve source-separated management of HSW for other cities in the future. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Public Participation in Designing the Recycling Bins to Encourage Recycling
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041240 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Recycling bin design has been shown to be important in guiding and changing waste management practices. The top-down imposition of recycling scheme components, the various colour signage, the different types of recycling bins per material even in the same city, and in light [...] Read more.
Recycling bin design has been shown to be important in guiding and changing waste management practices. The top-down imposition of recycling scheme components, the various colour signage, the different types of recycling bins per material even in the same city, and in light of the limitations cited in the relevant literature, our contribution examines the citizens’ involvement in designing recycling bins. Analyzing the responses of 757 participants randomly selected, we initially defined design variables, i.e., shape, colour, and type of lid and insert slot. The next step was to design six bins per recyclable and non-recyclable material, which were printed in a card in a random order. In total, 12 cards were evaluated by 430 residents of a typical Greek town without previous experience in recycling; personal interviews were conducted and citizens gave a score on a scale from one to six. The results highlight the public preference for specific lids and insert slots, and a rectangular shape for all the materials apart from glass and compostables for engaging in recycling. In addition, the results suggest that a connection might exist between the colour of the recyclable material and the colour of the bin. When there is no particular bin colour preference for a material such as plastic or packages, various hues of orange, yellow, or purple dominate. A reward phrase or environmental message printed on the bins could encourage recycling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formalization of Informal Waste Pickers’ Cooperatives in Blantyre, Malawi: A Feasibility Assessment
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041149 - 11 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Poor road networks, inadequate financial resources and low levels of political will mean that many developing countries, especially their unplanned settlements, struggle with solid waste management. Recently, Informal Waste Pickers (IWPs) have been incorporated into waste management cooperatives by formalizing their operations as [...] Read more.
Poor road networks, inadequate financial resources and low levels of political will mean that many developing countries, especially their unplanned settlements, struggle with solid waste management. Recently, Informal Waste Pickers (IWPs) have been incorporated into waste management cooperatives by formalizing their operations as a strategy to improve the quality and efficiency of waste management in such areas. This study was conducted in Zingwangwa, an unplanned settlement in Blantyre, Malawi, to understand whether the formalization of IWPs into cooperatives could be effective and/or accepted as a way of managing Municipal Solid Waste in unplanned urban settlements in Malawi. Thirty-four IWPs in Zingwangwa were identified and interviewed using a structured questionnaire; personnel from the Blantyre City Council and middlemen were interviewed as key informants. We determined that IWPs experience challenges in all dimensions of their lives: low material prices with exploitative price fluctuations, negative public perception and a lack of transportation are a few of their struggles. Furthermore, a fear of decreased income, conflicts during proceeds sharing, free riding behaviors and an attachment to their independence mean that IWPs are unlikely to form a cooperative on their own though some would be willing to join if a third party initiated the formalization process. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
System Dynamic Analysis of Impacts of Government Charges on Disposal of Construction and Demolition Waste: A Hong Kong Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041077 - 04 Apr 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
With the purpose of reducing the amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste disposed to landfills, many countries and municipalities have introduced increasingly stringent C&D waste disposal charges (CDWDC) but the level of CDWDC is often determined without a clear understanding of its [...] Read more.
With the purpose of reducing the amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste disposed to landfills, many countries and municipalities have introduced increasingly stringent C&D waste disposal charges (CDWDC) but the level of CDWDC is often determined without a clear understanding of its broad and complex impacts. Against this background, this paper aims to propose a system dynamics (SD) model that can help predict CDWDC’s environmental implications as well as its financial implications. Specifically, the proposed model explains complex causal relationships between variables such as the level of CDWDC, the amount of C&D waste disposed to landfills, the government’s revenues from CDWDC as well as the costs of supplying and operating landfills over time. For a case study, the developed model is customized and calibrated with actual data from Hong Kong, where the remaining capacities of existing landfills are limited and the need for supplying more landfills is imminent. The simulation analysis with the model predicts that the current charging levels may not be high enough to effectively control the amount of C&D waste disposed to landfills or to compensate for the costs to the government of supplying additional landfills. The analysis also predicts how much illegal dumping may increase as the level of CDWDC increases. This case study illustrates that the proposed SD model can help policy makers to see the potential impacts of increased CDWDC on the amount of C&D waste disposed to landfills, government costs and the amount of illegal dumping of C&D waste; and can therefore help them to determine the most appropriate level of CDWDC. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Studies and Investigation about the Attitude towards Sustainable Production, Consumption and Waste Generation in Line with Circular Economy in Romania
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030865 - 19 Mar 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
With a rapidly growing world population and the need to address the issue of consumption of global resource and its associated environmental impacts and other social and economic issues, the demand for a responsible consumption, production and prevention of waste generation become increasingly [...] Read more.
With a rapidly growing world population and the need to address the issue of consumption of global resource and its associated environmental impacts and other social and economic issues, the demand for a responsible consumption, production and prevention of waste generation become increasingly crucial. With this broad characterization of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), businesses based on circular economy should become the norm. With this goal in mind, an online questionnaire survey was performed on a nationwide scale, to explore consumers’ behaviors and attitudes. It was distributed in all four of Romania’s macro-regions and reached 642 respondents. The purpose of the study has been to better understand consumers’ behavior regarding sustainable consumption and production and examine whether generations play a role in responsible consumer attitudes toward the products. Three generations (X, Y, and Z) have been examined and compared. The results show that what extent those three generation agree with the environment and the benefits of reducing resource consumption, also waste generation, selective collection, recycling and reuse. However, most of them have not adopted and do not intend to adopt consumer patterns based on the circular economy. The findings provide empirical evidence and directions that could help marketers identify their consumer’s characteristics and market segments and develop consumer empowerment strategies on the Romanian market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Waste Management System for Batteries
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020332 - 28 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
We live in a technology driven era where each day new gadgets improve the way we live our lives. Many resources are being spent on building these devices that often turn obsolete overnight. Taking into account that these electronics have a long-term impact [...] Read more.
We live in a technology driven era where each day new gadgets improve the way we live our lives. Many resources are being spent on building these devices that often turn obsolete overnight. Taking into account that these electronics have a long-term impact on the environment, a waste management system must be embedded in the electronic product lifecycle. In this paper, we propose a monitoring system for recycling batteries from electronic equipment and devices. This solution covers specific waste management issues to manage and reduce battery waste and to recover valuable materials and components. A solution for the continuous monitoring of each battery waste container is also proposed. The solution involves the storage of all information regarding the recycling process, such as pickup date and time, collector’s name, quantity, and location. The research is also extended for smartphone usage. This is an important feature for collectors who need to access data in real time from any location. The mobile application directly reads the weight of battery waste, automatically saves the date and time, and stores the location along with any other useful information. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Selective Collection Quality Index for Municipal Solid Waste Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010257 - 19 Jan 2018
Cited by 22
Abstract
Trentino (an Italian Province located in the northern part of the country) is equipped with a management system of municipal solid waste collection at the forefront. Among the most positive aspects, there is a great ability for waste separation at the source and [...] Read more.
Trentino (an Italian Province located in the northern part of the country) is equipped with a management system of municipal solid waste collection at the forefront. Among the most positive aspects, there is a great ability for waste separation at the source and a consequent low production of residual municipal solid waste for disposal. Latest data show a gross efficiency of selective collection that has recently reached 80%, one of the highest values in Italy. This study analyzed the “Trentino system” to identify the main elements that have been at the base of the current efficient model. This provided an opportunity to propose a selective collection quality index (SCQI), including collection efficiency for each fraction, method of collection, quality of the collected materials, presence of the punctual tariff and tourist incidence. A period relevant for the transition of the collection system to the recent one was chosen for the demonstrative adoption of the proposed indicators in order to determine the potential of the index adoption. Results of the analysis of this case study were obtained in a quantitative form thanks to the sub-parameters that characterize the proposed index. This allowed selected collection decision makers to focus intently on a territory to find criticalities to be solved. For instance, the use of the index and its sub-indicators in the case of Trentino identified and comparatively quantified the local problems resulting from the presence of a large museum in a small town, tourism peaks in some valleys, and a delay in the punctual tariff adoption. The index has been proposed with the aim to make available an integrated tool to analyze other areas in Italy and abroad. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
From Waste Management to Component Management in the Construction Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010229 - 17 Jan 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
The construction industry uses more resources and produces more waste than any other industrial sector; sustainable development depends on the reduction of both, while providing for a growing global population. The reuse of existing building components could support this goal. However, it is [...] Read more.
The construction industry uses more resources and produces more waste than any other industrial sector; sustainable development depends on the reduction of both, while providing for a growing global population. The reuse of existing building components could support this goal. However, it is difficult to reclaim components from demolition, and materials remain cheap compared with labour, so new approaches are needed for reuse to be implemented beyond niche projects. This study therefore reviews waste interventions. Multiple case studies, spanning new builds and refurbishment, were undertaken to examine systemic mechanisms that lead to components being discarded. Evidence from fieldwork observations, waste documentation, and interviews indicates that the generators of unwanted components effectively decide their fate, and a failure to identify components in advance, uncertainty over usefulness, the perception of cost and programme risk in reclamation, and the preferential order of the waste hierarchy mean that the decision to discard to waste management goes unchallenged. A triage process is proposed to capture timely information about existing building components to be discarded, make this information visible to a wide community, and determine usefulness by focusing creativity already present in the industry on an exhaustive examination of component reusability and upcyclability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Diffusion Effect of MSW Recycling
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010040 - 25 Dec 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to compare the recycling performance for some waste fractions selected including food waste, bulk waste, paper, metal products, plastics/rubber and glass products and then to develop some directions for the future improvements. The priority of each waste [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to compare the recycling performance for some waste fractions selected including food waste, bulk waste, paper, metal products, plastics/rubber and glass products and then to develop some directions for the future improvements. The priority of each waste fraction for recycling is also analyzed by using an importance-performance analysis. Traditionally, the recycling rate that is calculated by the ratio of waste recycled to waste collected is used as an indicator to measure recycling performance. Due to a large variation among waste fractions in municipal solid waste (MSW), the recycling rate cannot reflect the actual recycling performance. The ceiling of recycling rate for each waste fraction estimated from the diffusion models is incorporated into a model to calculate recycling performance. The results show that (1) the diffusion effect exists significantly for the recycling of most recyclables but no evidence is found to support the diffusion effect for the recycling of food waste and bulk waste; (2) the recycling performance of waste metal products ranks the top, compared to waste paper, waste glass and other waste fractions; (3) furthermore, an importance-performance analysis (IPA) is employed to analyze the priority of recycling programs and thus this paper suggests that the recycling of food waste should be seen as the most priority item to recycle. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Solid Waste Disposal in Chinese Cities: An Evaluation of Local Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122234 - 03 Dec 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
China meets increasingly serious solid waste problems and has adopted various policies in response in recent years. Meanwhile, few studies have investigated the performance of solid waste disposal through statistical analysis with empirical data. This study examines provincial resource use policy’s influence on [...] Read more.
China meets increasingly serious solid waste problems and has adopted various policies in response in recent years. Meanwhile, few studies have investigated the performance of solid waste disposal through statistical analysis with empirical data. This study examines provincial resource use policy’s influence on the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste in Chinese cities. Through comparing results for statistical analysis in the year 2009 and 2015 by multiple linear regression analysis, this study analyzes similarities and differences in the drivers for solid waste disposal in the era of the 11th Five-Year Plan and the 12th Five-Year Plan in China. It finds that the adoption of resource use policy positively increases the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste. Other factors such as industrial SO2 emission, local environmental regulations, GDP per capita, population density and educational level also affect industrial solid waste disposal. Therefore, China should continue implementing solid waste disposal policies, upgrade current industrial systems, push forward economic and social reform and increase environmental education to enhance the effectiveness of solid waste disposal for long-term sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Analysis of Energy Production from Food Waste through Anaerobic Digestion, Pyrolysis and Integrated Energy System
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101804 - 05 Oct 2017
Cited by 19
Abstract
The environmental performance of industrial anaerobic digestion (AD), pyrolysis, and integrated system (AD sequence with pyrolysis) on food waste treatment were evaluated using life cycle assessment. The integrated treatment system indicated similar environmental benefits to AD with the highest benefits in climate change [...] Read more.
The environmental performance of industrial anaerobic digestion (AD), pyrolysis, and integrated system (AD sequence with pyrolysis) on food waste treatment were evaluated using life cycle assessment. The integrated treatment system indicated similar environmental benefits to AD with the highest benefits in climate change and water depletion in addition to the increased energy generation potential and the production of valuable products (biochar and bio-oil). Pyrolysis results illustrated higher impact across water, fossil fuel, and mineral depletion, although still providing a better option than conventional landfilling of food waste. The dewatering phase in the AD process accounted for 70% of the treatment impact while the pre-treatment of the food waste was responsible for the main burden in the pyrolysis process. The study indicated that the three treatment options of food waste management are environmentally more favorable than the conventional landfilling of the wastes. Full article
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