The use of chemical composition data in assessing the environmental impact of municipal waste management options

Burnley, S.J. (2003). The use of chemical composition data in assessing the environmental impact of municipal waste management options. In: Ninth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, 6-10 Oct 2003, Sardinia, Italy.

Abstract

As the emphasis on municipal solid waste management moves from disposal to recovery the need for information on the physical and chemical composition of the waste also increases. Data on the chemical composition of waste are very limited, but comparison of a number of European studies generally shows good agreement. In a case study, information on the quantities of waste produced in Cardiff was combined with UK data on waste composition to identify the parts of the waste stream and the materials where the potential pollutants are concentrated. The effect of increased levels of recycling and incineration were also considered. This showed that the fuel properties of the incinerator feedstock were unaffected by the recycling and composting operations. Lead and cadmium in the waste tended to be concentrated in the incinerator feedstock where they would be captured by the flue gas treatment system and isolated from the environment in secure landfill sites.

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