The Use Of Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment To Evaluate The Long Term Climate Change Impacts Of Waste Management Processes

Burnley, Stephen and Boardman, Carl (2017). The Use Of Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment To Evaluate The Long Term Climate Change Impacts Of Waste Management Processes. In: Sardinia_2017.

Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is widely used to assess the environmental imapcts of different waste management processes and waste management systems, but the results of an LCA can be highly dependent on some of the initial assumptions made. Another problem with LCA is how long-term effects such as the sequestering of atmospheric carbon in landfills and the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere are handled. In this research a dynamic life cycle assessment (DLCA) approach was taken to address these issues. The results from an assessment of the treatment of waste newsprint by landfill, energy recovery and recycling showed that the results are broadly similar to those from conventional LCAs. There are still questions regarding the long-term impacts, but these issues, and the underlying assumptions made, are much more transparent.

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