A life cycle assessment of recovering energy from the organic fractions of municipal waste

Burnley, S. J.; Phillips, R. and Coleman, T. (2011). A life cycle assessment of recovering energy from the organic fractions of municipal waste. In: Thirteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, 3-7 Oct 2011, S. Margherita di Pula (Cagliari), Sardinia.

URL: http://www.sardiniasymposium.it/sardinia2011/

Abstract

A life cycle assessment was carried out to determine the environmental impacts of managing a range of biodegradable wastes. For all the waste types considered the maximum benefits in terms of climate change and non-renewable resource depletion would be achieved by using the waste in a cement kiln as a substitute fuel for coal. When considering the impacts in terms of human toxicity, aquatic ecotoxicity, acidification and eutrophication, direct combustion with energy recovery was the best option. The results were found to be highly sensitive to the efficiency of the energy recovery process and the conventional fuel displaced by the recovered energy.

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