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Municipal Solid Waste Management and Environmental Sustainability

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Collection Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering (DICAM), University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy
Interests: environmental sustainability; emissions; impact; health; optimisation; treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, municipal solid waste (MSW) management has been subject to significant discussion and transformations owing to the growing attention paid to the concept of environmental sustainability all over the world. Today, all the new projects and proposals in the sector of MSW management must take into account the principles of environmental sustainability and be in agreement with circular economy perspectives. The trend is towards a deeper analysis of the sector, as demonstrated by the introduction of the 9R criteria (responsibility, react, reduce, reuse, redesign, repair, recover, recycle and rot) in place of the original 3Rs and by a more detailed characterisation of the involved streams of materials.

The reimagining of MSW management necessitates the formation of specific competences in the professionals involved, which calls for a rapid reaction of educational institutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created specific challenges to MSW, and new practices and solutions should be addressed, which also require political decisions.

This Special Issue on MSW and Environmental Sustainability will take into account the need to guarantee economic and social sustainability through an integrated approach. Reviews and case studies are also welcome.

All papers will undergo blind review. The reviewers will be selected among researchers active in the field as demonstrated by the presence of their work in international databases.

In the framework described above, this Special Issue invites authors to contribute in the following fields, all in the sector of MSW (keywords):

  • The quali-quantitative characterisation of MSW;
  • Strategies for the sustainable management of MSW;
  • Environmental sustainability indicators;
  • Lifecycle assessment and risk analysis;
  • Business models for the circular economy and sustainability;
  • Green economy and MSW;
  • The health impact of MSW management;
  • The environmental impact of MSW management;
  • MSW management during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Education for MSW management.

Prof. Dr. Marco Ragazzi
Prof. Dr. Elena Magaril
Collection Editors

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 collection 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.

Published Papers (14 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

20 pages, 2231 KiB  
Article
The Treatment of Municipal Solid Waste in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam: An Environmental and Technological Analysis of Current and Future Scenarios
by Giovanni Gadaleta, Michele Notarnicola and Sabino De Gisi
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416658 - 7 Dec 2023
Viewed by 4035
Abstract
The population growth of South-Asian countries is contributing significantly to the escalating volume of municipal solid waste (MSW). Presently, waste management in this region predominantly relies on landfilling, necessitating a shift towards a more sustainable paradigm. To address this imperative, this study explores [...] Read more.
The population growth of South-Asian countries is contributing significantly to the escalating volume of municipal solid waste (MSW). Presently, waste management in this region predominantly relies on landfilling, necessitating a shift towards a more sustainable paradigm. To address this imperative, this study explores the feasibility of extending the European-based waste management system for treating MSW in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Assuming as current scenario the direct disposal in landfill, the environmental and technical performances of five other proposed scenarios based on the following technologies were assessed: mechanical–biological treatment; incineration; their combination; mechanical recycling; composting and anaerobic digestion. As expected, all alternative technologies showed potential for improving the current scenario. However, from an environmental point of view, incineration of mixed MSW emerged as the sole option that yielded a discernible environmental benefit for all the countries involved in the study (achieving a carbon footprint of about −0.111 t-CO2-Eq./FU). Recycling-based scenarios achieved higher benefits for Thailand and Vietnam (−0.145 and −0.186 t-CO2-Eq./FU, respectively), but not Cambodia (0.072 t-CO2-Eq./FU) due to the lack of valuable materials to recycle. Technical findings showed how separate collection remains the system generating the least amount of waste for disposal (about 0.185 t), having a synergic effect on the combined approach of mechanical–biological treatment and incineration, which boasts the highest specific energy yield (about 0.339 and 1.183 kW/t, for electric and thermal energy, respectively). These results underscore the imperative to extend the analysis to the economic domain, combining diverse criteria to identify the most sustainable solution. Full article
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13 pages, 3659 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impacts in the Textile Sector: A Life Cycle Assessment Case Study of a Woolen Undershirt
by Isabella Bianco, Alice De Bona, Mariachiara Zanetti and Deborah Panepinto
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511666 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3469
Abstract
The textile industry, known for its significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, is increasingly active in exploring techniques and technologies to improve its environmental performance. The main tool to calculate environmental impacts is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is standardized [...] Read more.
The textile industry, known for its significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, is increasingly active in exploring techniques and technologies to improve its environmental performance. The main tool to calculate environmental impacts is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is standardized and internationally recognized. Specific guidelines for the impact calculation of textile products are under development (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) for the category of Apparel and Footwear). In this context, this study contributes to the knowledge in the textile sector through the development of a cradle-to-gate LCA of a woolen undershirt produced in Italy. This study shares robust and recent (2021) primary data for the phases of weaving, cutting, and sewing, obtained from an Italian company. Data from previous studies of the authors, as well as secondary data, are also used to complete the inventory. A further analysis is developed to include the use phase as well. The impact on climate change of one undershirt results in 11.7 kg CO2 eq, primarily due to the farming phase of sheep, which accounts for 88% of the total emissions. The impact on climate change of energy used in the wool transformation process has a relatively low impact (11%), also thanks to the partial use of electricity produced by photovoltaic panels, while materials (e.g., chemicals) and transportation have negligible contributions. The farming phase, despite relying on secondary data, is identified as the primary contributor for most of the other indicators. Additionally, it has been found that user habits play a key role in the impact related to one wearing of the undershirt. The findings suggest that further work is necessary in the textile sector and emphasize (i) the need for guidelines, enabling the inclusion of the use phase without compromising the comparability between different LCAs of similar textile products; (ii) the need for improved traceability practices in the textile sector, to enhance inventory data collection on the raw material production (wool fibers in the case under analysis). Full article
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16 pages, 10053 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Ca-Based Sorbents for Gaseous HCl Emissions Adsorption
by Marco Ravina, Edoardo Marotta, Alberto Cerutti, Giovanna Zanetti, Barbara Ruffino, Deborah Panepinto and Mariachiara Zanetti
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10882; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410882 - 11 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
The problem of acid gas exhaust emissions treatment has not been fully resolved at present. Dry adsorption of acid gases with alkaline sorbents is currently being investigated, to improve solid sorbents. In this study, 5 types of hydrated lime were characterised and tested. [...] Read more.
The problem of acid gas exhaust emissions treatment has not been fully resolved at present. Dry adsorption of acid gases with alkaline sorbents is currently being investigated, to improve solid sorbents. In this study, 5 types of hydrated lime were characterised and tested. The sorption capacities were measured by means of a system consisting of a feed line (HCl/N2), a thermostatic reactor and a water absorber. The physical characteristics of sorbent samples were also compared. Analyses conducted with scanning electronic microscopy revealed that sample C1 showed uniform particle distribution. Samples C2 and C3 showed the co-presence of fine and coarse particles. Sample C4 showed very fine particles with agglomeration phenomena. In sample C5, fibrous elements were found. Energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analyses showed a similar composition of the samples, with the exception of the presence of Mg in some of them. After 30 min of testing, the following differences in sorption capacities with respect to C1 (3.59 mg g−1) were found: C2, −20%; C3, −13%; C4, −17%; C5, −3%. Higher sorption capacities were associated with more uniform particle size distributions. Conversely, agglomeration of fine particles may have adversely affected the performance of sorbents. Full article
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19 pages, 2489 KiB  
Article
Composting Old Bark and Wood Waste in Cold Weather Conditions
by Yuliya Margina, Aleksandr Troegubov, Yuliya Kulikova and Natalia Sliusar
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10768; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410768 - 9 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1362
Abstract
The pulp and paper industry generates large quantities of bark and wood waste (BWW), most of which is disposed of at bark dumps. There are dozens of such dumpsites in Russia, some of which cause negative environmental impacts due to their proximity to [...] Read more.
The pulp and paper industry generates large quantities of bark and wood waste (BWW), most of which is disposed of at bark dumps. There are dozens of such dumpsites in Russia, some of which cause negative environmental impacts due to their proximity to bodies of water. Unlike fresh BWW, old BWW is characterized by significant heterogeneity. Given that BWW stored long-term in bark dumps is a water-heavy woody material subjected to varying degrees of microbiological decomposition, the most acceptable method for its disposal is composting. This text presents the results of studies focused on the process of field composting BWW in heaps with natural aeration during the cold season in the region of Perm, Russia. Composting was carried out in two ways: (1) with mineral fertilizers; (2) with both mineral fertilizers and a microbiological inoculum. Concurrent with the field composting, laboratory composting was carried out under controlled conditions. At the end of a 60-day process of field composting old BWW at ambient temperatures of 5 to −14 °C, there were decreases in the values of the compost mixture: loss on ignition (LOI) fell by 22%, chemical oxygen demand (COD) by 98%, and respiratory activity (AT4) by 32%. In laboratory conditions at an ambient temperature of 30–35 °C, LOI decreased by 24%, COD by 98%, and AT4 by 39%. The introduction of a microbiological inoculum into the compost mixture did not intensify the biochemical destruction process of old BWW, neither in the laboratory nor in field conditions. Full article
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23 pages, 5129 KiB  
Article
Methodology of a Circular Economy in a Specific Territory
by Djamilia Skripnuk, Nikolay Didenko, Albina Gazizulina, Kseniia N. Kikkas and Konstantin Skripniuk
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310363 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1094
Abstract
This article refers to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 by the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly, of which Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns has important implications for achieving a zero-waste, circular economy. The methodology [...] Read more.
This article refers to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 by the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly, of which Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns has important implications for achieving a zero-waste, circular economy. The methodology of achieving integrated zero-waste production and a circular economy is discussed for application in a specific territory. The methodology consists of the following key aspects: (a) a targeted program of zero-waste production addressing problems concerning industrial and domestic waste in a specific territory; (b) targeted zero-waste production subprograms addressing industrial waste problems; (c) Industry 4.0 technologies involved in the development of a circular economy in a specific territory; (d) involvement of residents of a territory in collectively addressing all environmental problems and participating in zero-waste production organizations; and (e) mathematical, software, and IT methodologies of implementing a zero-waste and circular economy in a specific territory. An empirical analysis of the methodological aspects was carried out, using the example of a municipal district with a developed multisectoral economy. This study demonstrates the concept of waste classification involving the use of waste as raw material in a municipal district, including a specific targeted subprogram for recycling polymer products in a municipal district. A mathematical model of a zero-waste and circular economy program in a municipal district is depicted as an alternative graph to show different options of operation while addressing both local and global goals. An analytic hierarchy process was used to empower decision-makers to interactively select the option that best corresponds to the financial capacity of the municipal district, the duration of the program, and the technical requirements of the task. Full article
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16 pages, 3581 KiB  
Article
Biolysed Sludge Composting for Nitrogen Conservation and Humification Improvements and Mechanisms
by Hongyi Wang, Shihong Chen, Jun Gu, Yan Liu, Guangping Yang, Wenqiang Su, Yongfang Xie, Jian Zhu and Ran Yu
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10119; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310119 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Aerobic composting of conventional municipal sludge has always had the problems of nitrogen loss and low humification. In this study, biolysed sludge (BS), polyacrylamids-added sludge (PS) and Fe (III)/CaO-added sludge (FS) were used for composting, respectively, and their effect on the physical-chemical parameters, [...] Read more.
Aerobic composting of conventional municipal sludge has always had the problems of nitrogen loss and low humification. In this study, biolysed sludge (BS), polyacrylamids-added sludge (PS) and Fe (III)/CaO-added sludge (FS) were used for composting, respectively, and their effect on the physical-chemical parameters, nitrogen conversion and humification during composting were investigated. The results showed that the dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration of the BS pile (23.1 ± 0.4 g/kg) was 48.4% and 48.4% higher than the PS (15.5 ± 0.4 g/kg) and FS piles (15.5 ± 0.0 g/kg) in the initial stage of composting and became the lowest after composting, suggesting that the degradation of DOM was promoted in the BS pile. BS can also increase the retention rate of total nitrogen (TN) (27.8% ± 0.8%), higher than that in PS (22.7% ± 1.1%) and FS (24.6% ± 0.5%), which may be due to the lower production of ammonia nitrogen in the BS pile. Compared with PS and FS, BS provided more humic substance (HS) and humic acid (HA) for composting and the HA contents of the compost products were 34.4 ± 1.0, 35.4 ± 0.2 and 34.0 ± 0.3 mg/g in the PS, BS and FS treated piles, respectively. Fourier transform infrared and the excitation-emission matrix revealed that BS and FS promoted the aromaticity and stability of HA. The degree of polymerization (DP) of the products from the BS (1.48) and FS piles (1.56) was higher than that of the PS pile (1.36). However, the germination index (GI) value (133.4% ± 6.0%) of FS was lower than that of PS (152.3% ± 6.2%) and BS (158.3% ± 0.8%), showing that the products of FS composting contain more plant biotoxicity. Thus, compared with PS and FS, BS can increase the nitrogen retention rate and the maturity of the compost. Full article
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17 pages, 3505 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Comparison of Bio-Oils Obtained by Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Organic Waste
by Yuliya Kulikova, Marina Krasnovskikh, Natalia Sliusar, Nikolay Orlov and Olga Babich
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15020980 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1584
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of bio-oil quality depending on the type of input biomass, the process conditions and the catalytic systems used. Analysis of various catalytic system choices showed the prospects of using nickel and iron metal salts as homogeneous catalysts given [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of bio-oil quality depending on the type of input biomass, the process conditions and the catalytic systems used. Analysis of various catalytic system choices showed the prospects of using nickel and iron metal salts as homogeneous catalysts given that their use provided increases of 24.5% and 22.2%, respectively, in the yield of light-boiling bio-oil fractions (with a boiling point of up to 350 °C). Composition analysis of the bio-oils carried out using gas chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that fatty acids are the predominant group of substances in bio-oils produced from sewage sludge. Bio-oil synthesized from bark and wood waste contains phenolic alcohols and a limited range of cyclic hydrocarbons as the main components. In bio-oil produced from macroalgae, oxygen and nitrogen compounds of the piperazinedione and amides type are predominant. The sulfur and nitrogen content in all types of bio-oils is at an acceptable level. The results allow researchers to assert that organic waste processing enables production of sufficiently high-quality fuel, which can then be jointly processed with natural oil. Bio-oil produced from secondary sludge has the best quality, characterized by a high content of low-weight aliphatic compounds (with a boiling point of up to 350 °C), along with insignificant levels of nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen. Full article
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14 pages, 1052 KiB  
Article
The Repercussions of Economic Growth, Industrialization, Foreign Direct Investment, and Technology on Municipal Solid Waste: Evidence from OECD Economies
by Wasi Ul Hassan Shah, Rizwana Yasmeen, Muddassar Sarfraz and Larisa Ivascu
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010836 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2884
Abstract
The paper’s main objective is to evaluate the repercussions of economic growth, industrialization, and foreign direct investment (FDI) on OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) municipal solid waste (MSW) from 2000–2020. Further study includes the role of technology in managing waste activities’ [...] Read more.
The paper’s main objective is to evaluate the repercussions of economic growth, industrialization, and foreign direct investment (FDI) on OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) municipal solid waste (MSW) from 2000–2020. Further study includes the role of technology in managing waste activities’ repercussions. We also explore the mediation impact of technology and industrialization with economic growth on the waste of OECD economies. The empirical assessment is carried out in two ways. First, we use graphs to assess the evolution over the years and their association with the core factors. Second, we apply a proper econometrics series to examine the empirical nexuses between the relevant factors. The study finds that economic growth and industrialization evolve over time, increasing the waste of OECD economies. FDI inflow is unfavorable and increases waste production. However, the magnitude impact of FDI is lower than that of economic growth and industrialization. Technological advancement (research and development) is a significant factor in reducing waste generation. The later phase of economic growth is still not advantageous to reduce waste generation in the OECD. The OECD needs to manage industrialization and economic activities through a proper mechanism and tax on such activities that can increase unwanted waste. Further, through technology, the management of waste can be improved. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

24 pages, 3913 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Estimation of Short Term Residual Household Waste Production: Case Study Reunion Island
by Ludovic Fontaine, Dominique Morau and Jean-Philippe Praene
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010348 - 26 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
The objective of this approach is to evaluate the formation of waste production at the communal level in a small island state. The question of waste management is an important issue for all local authorities, but it is even more so in an [...] Read more.
The objective of this approach is to evaluate the formation of waste production at the communal level in a small island state. The question of waste management is an important issue for all local authorities, but it is even more so in an island context. The small island areas are all the more confronted with this problem insofar as they must combine their own specific characteristics, which can be very restrictive: isolation and remoteness, centralized economy, non-competitive domestic market, geographical and climatic conditions, growing demography, social structure and economic and energy dependence. The list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is sufficient to establish a framework for reflection, where these different specificities interact strongly with the development of these territories. Although they reveal above all remarkable and fragile ecosystems, a bad waste management policy can cause irremediable damage environmentally, economically, and socially. It is therefore important to understand the implications of waste management on the island. This approach introduces an analysis, in order to express the communal specificities of the production of residual household waste, in order to bring contextualized elements of answers to the waste management strategy of Reunion Island. Indeed, dysfunctions have been noted in the collection and transfer process and more particularly, in waste disposal. Full article
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19 pages, 4165 KiB  
Article
Parametrization Study for Optimal Pre-Combustion Integration of Membrane Processes in BIGCC
by Maytham Alabid and Cristian Dinca
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16604; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416604 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Presently, the utilization of biomass as an energy source has gained significant attention globally due to its capacity to provide constant feedstock. In 2020, biomass combustion generated 19 Mt of CO2, representing an increase of 16% from the previous year. The [...] Read more.
Presently, the utilization of biomass as an energy source has gained significant attention globally due to its capacity to provide constant feedstock. In 2020, biomass combustion generated 19 Mt of CO2, representing an increase of 16% from the previous year. The increase in CO2 emissions is fundamentally due to biomass gasification in power plants. Due to the growing demand to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this paper aims to improve CO2 capture technologies to face this challenge. In this context, the utilization of three stages of the polymer membrane process, using different compressor pressure values, has been technically and economically analyzed. The proposed solution was combined pre-combustion in a BIGCC process equipped with a Siemens gas turbine with an installed power capacity of 50 MW. The article simulated energy operations by using membranes of polymer and CHEMCAD software improved in the CO2 integration research project. Consequently, polymeric membranes with CO2 permeability of 1000 GPU were examined while CO2 selectivity towards nitrogen was investigated to be 50. It was observed that by increasing the surface area of the polymer membrane (400,000–1,200,000 m2) an increase of 37% occurs in CO2 capture efficiency. On the other hand, LCOE increased from 97 to 141 EUR/MWh. The avoided cost of CO2 captured was 52.9 EUR/ton. Full article
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19 pages, 1073 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Efficiency of Municipal Solid Waste Collection Services in Developing Countries: The Case of Chile
by Jean Pierre Doussoulin and Cristian Colther
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15887; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315887 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6650
Abstract
Due to the increasing volume of waste and the increasingly complex administration of its collection and disposal, solid waste management is quickly becoming a demanding issue for municipalities all over the world. Benchmarking the effectiveness of municipal solid waste management is critical for [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing volume of waste and the increasingly complex administration of its collection and disposal, solid waste management is quickly becoming a demanding issue for municipalities all over the world. Benchmarking the effectiveness of municipal solid waste management is critical for assessing municipalities’ resource management performance and developing public policies for improvement. The main contribution of this article is an analysis of the efficiency of municipal collection services in Chile focusing in house solid waste. This study estimates the economic and technical efficiency using Stochastic Frontier Models for socio-economic, technical and human geography data from 2014 to 2019 for a sample of 280 municipalities, as well as an analysis of the internal and external factors that influence the efficiency levels shown by municipalities using an econometric model with 2017 socio-economic data. In addition, the spatial distribution of efficiency is investigated, with the Moran index used to identify clusters of towns to see if there is any spatial autocorrelation. The findings show that there are considerable disparities depending on whether the collection is private, public or mixed, and that rural municipalities are inefficient. The efficiency is not distributed evenly throughout space. The findings and recommendations of this study are intended to aid in the improvement of municipal and public policies relating to MSW management efficiency. Full article
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17 pages, 4139 KiB  
Review
An Overview of Thermal Treatment Emissions with a Particular Focus on CO2 Parameter
by Deborah Panepinto, Marco Ravina and Mariachiara Zanetti
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315852 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies can offer sustainable solutions for waste that cannot be further reused or recycled, such as the part of municipal solid waste (MSW) that is not suitable for recycling processes. The two main (most widely used) thermal treatment technologies that can [...] Read more.
Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies can offer sustainable solutions for waste that cannot be further reused or recycled, such as the part of municipal solid waste (MSW) that is not suitable for recycling processes. The two main (most widely used) thermal treatment technologies that can be applied to MSW are direct combustion in an incineration plant and gasification. This paper examines in particular the direct combustion in incineration plants, explaining the main process, the main technologies applied, and the resulting environmental aspects. Moreover, this work focuses on analyzing flue gas emissions from thermal treatment in order to better understand the impacts of these kinds of processes. A particular focus on the CO2 parameter is performed. CO2 is a persistent atmospheric gas, and it is one of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) potentially responsible for the climate change phenomenon. In this sense, specific indexes (tCO2/tMSW and tCO2/MWh) are elaborated considering the thermal treatment plants present in six Italian regions. The main aim of this review paper is to try to fill the gap that still exists regarding the emissions environmental compatibility coming from these type of plants, the evaluation of the amount of CO2 emitted, and the possible reduction of the CO2 parameter. One of the main outcome obtained is in fact the evaluation of the amount of CO2 coming from these kinds of plants and some indications about the technological possibilities of reducing this amount. Full article
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21 pages, 19350 KiB  
Article
Challenges and Adaptive Measures for U.S. Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Ana Daniela Pinto, Hiba Jalloul, Navid Nickdoost, Fehintola Sanusi, Juyeong Choi and Tarek Abichou
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4834; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084834 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3084
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in major disruptions in the way municipal solid waste management systems (MSWMSs) operate due to substantial distortions in waste generation trends, along with a variety of significant operational and managerial challenges. As critical infrastructure, MSWMSs have endeavored to [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in major disruptions in the way municipal solid waste management systems (MSWMSs) operate due to substantial distortions in waste generation trends, along with a variety of significant operational and managerial challenges. As critical infrastructure, MSWMSs have endeavored to adapt in response to such unprecedented stresses in order to maintain their operations during the pandemic. The challenges and their relevant adaptive measures, however, have varied with the progression of the pandemic across different MSWMSs. Currently, there is a limited understanding of such time-bound and system-specific phenomena, which impedes timely and effective adaptation. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by performing a detailed and documented investigation of the longitudinal impact of the coronavirus pandemic on different MSWMSs across the United States, along with its evolution over time, using collected qualitative and quantitative data (i.e., monthly interviews with waste management personnel, online news media, and waste tonnages). This study also develops a relational database system to facilitate the systematic recording and monitoring of the pandemic’s impact on MSWMSs, as well as guide the implementation of different adaptation strategies based on distinct systems’ characteristics. Findings of this study will help solid waste decision-makers better understand the current pandemic, along with serving as a knowledge base for future pandemic scenarios towards more resilient MSWMSs. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

12 pages, 3685 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impacts of Electricity from Incineration and Gasification: How the LCA Approach Can Affect the Results
by Isabella Bianco, Deborah Panepinto and Mariachiara Zanetti
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010092 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3378
Abstract
Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies can offer sustainable solutions for waste, which can no more be reused or recycled, such as the part of municipal solid waste (MSW) that is not suitable for recycling processes. This study focused on the environmental consequences of the production [...] Read more.
Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies can offer sustainable solutions for waste, which can no more be reused or recycled, such as the part of municipal solid waste (MSW) that is not suitable for recycling processes. This study focused on the environmental consequences of the production of electricity from incineration and gasification of MSW. To this aim, the standardised life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was used. A life cycle inventory, mainly composed by primary data, is provided. Starting from these data, different highly shared LCA approaches were used to calculate the potential impacts of 1 kWh provided by the two analysed WtE technologies. The different approaches concern the method of accounting for the by-products (through an economic allocation and a system expansion) and the inclusion/exclusion of environmental benefits due to the avoided landfill for the MSW. For each approach, impact-assessment results were calculated with the ReCiPe midpoint (H) method. A comparison was carried out (i) between the results obtained for the same WtE technology but calculated with different approaches and (ii) between the impact results of electricity generated by the two WtE technologies calculated with the same approach. From the study, it emerged that, according to the accounting rules, the impact results can significantly change and, for some impact categories, even lead to opposite conclusions. In the absence of category rules that harmonise the environmental assessments of WtE processes, it is therefore recommended that the development/use/reproduction/comparison of studies focused on the valorisation of waste should be carried out with caution. Full article
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