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Planning Biodegradable Waste Management in Stockholm
KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemical Engineering and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5535-6368
1999 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, Vol. 3, no 4, 43-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The environmental impact of the management of biodegradable waste in Stockholm, based mainly on incineration and landfilling, was compared to systems with significant nutrient recycling; large-scale composting, anaerobic digestion, and separate collection and utilization of urine. The systems' emissions, residual products, energy turnover, and resource consumption were evaluated from a life-cycle perspective, using a computerized model, ORWARE (ORganic WAste REsearch model).

Transportation was of relatively low importance to overall environmental impact, even at high rates of nutrient recycling. This is remarkable considering the geographical setting of Stockholm, with high population density and little nearby farmland. Ancillary systems, such as generation of electricity and district heating, were crucial for the overall outcome.

Increased recycling of nutrients in solid biodegradable waste in Stockholm can reduce net environmental impact, whereas separation of human urine to be spread as fertilizer cannot yet be introduced without increased acidification. Increased nutrient recycling from solid biodegradable waste inevitably increases spreading of metals on arable land. Urine is by far the least contaminated residual product. Spreading of all other residuals would be limited by their metal content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 3, no 4, 43-58 p.
Keyword [en]
biosolids, life-cycle assessment (LCA), municipal waste management, nutrient recycling, ORWARE, substance flow analysis (SFA)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12390OAI: diva2:310672
QC 20100415Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-04-15 Last updated: 2011-02-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental System Analysis of Waste Management: Experiences from Applications of the ORWARE Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental System Analysis of Waste Management: Experiences from Applications of the ORWARE Model
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Waste management has gone through a history of shiftingproblems, demands, and strategies over the years. In contrastto the long prevailing view that the problem could be solved byhiding or moving it, waste is now viewed as a problem rangingfrom local to global concern, and as being an integral part ofseveral sectors in society. Decisive for this view has beensociety’s increasing complexity and thus the increasingcomplexity of waste, together with a general development ofenvironmental consciousness, moving from local focus on pointemission sources, to regional and global issues of more complexnature.

This thesis is about the development and application orware;a model for computer aided environmental systems analysis ofmunicipal waste management. Its origin is the hypothesis thatwidened perspectives are needed in waste managementdecision-making to avoid severe sub-optimisation ofenvironmental performance. With a strong foundation in lifecycle assessment (LCA), orware aims to cover the environmentalimpacts over the entire life cycle of waste management. It alsoperforms substance flow analysis (SFA) calculations at a ratherdetailed level of the system.

Applying orware has confirmed the importance of applyingsystems perspective and of taking into account site specificdifferences in analysis and planning of waste manage-ment,rather than relying on overly simplified solutions. Somefindings can be general-ised and used as guidelines to reduceenvironmental impact of waste management. Recovery of materialand energy resources from waste generally leads to netreductions in energy use and environmental impact, because ofthe savings this brings about in other sectors. Waste treatmentwith low rate of energy and materials recovery should thereforebe avoided. The exact choice of technology however depends onwhat products can be recovered andhow they are used.

Despite the complexity of the model and a certain degree ofuser unfriendliness, involved stakeholders have expressed thevalue of participating in orware case studies. It providesimproved decision-basis, but also wider understanding of thecomplexity of waste management and of environmental issues ingeneral.

The thesis also contains a first suggestion of a frameworkto handle uncertainty in orware, based on a review of types ofuncertainty in LCA and tools to handle it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2000. x p.
Trita-KET-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2000:15
municipal solid waste (MSW), waste management, waste management planning, model, environmental systems analysis, life cycle assessment (LCA), substance flow analysis (SFA), substance flows, environmental impact, energy, uncertainty
National Category
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3055 (URN)
Public defence
2000-12-08, 00:00 (English)
QC 20100413 NR 20140805Available from: 2000-12-07 Created: 2000-12-07 Last updated: 2010-04-28Bibliographically approved

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