Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Paper production is responsible for several environmental problems; that is why, minimization of the issues by paper production is being more important. Paper recycling is a waste management method which provides an environmentally friendly alternative to virgin wood for paper making and recycled paper is rather efficient to mitigate the environmental issues by paper production. Turkey is a developing country in which majority of paper waste is landfilled, but Sweden is a country where majority of household paper waste can be recycled due to improved collection and sorting of paper waste. Therefore, in order to improve sustainable paper waste management in Turkey, Sweden can be a role model. The aim of the thesis is to investigate the role of recycling of Swedish household paper fractions in sustainability to give clear idea about possible benefits to Turkey when efficient household paper recycling is applied.
To achieve the aim, Sustainability Assessment Model (SAM) is used in order to assess the sustainability of household paper recycling, to analyze the environmental, economic and social impacts of paper recycling on each life cycle stages of paper as well as to examine the possible benefits of efficient recycling of Swedish household paper waste that can be used as a role model for Turkey's municipal paper waste management. In addition, two scenarios are developed by considering SAM and these scenarios have differences in both paper making and waste management throughout either using only virgin wood pulp or combination of virgin and recycled wood pulp in the operations. Moreover, SAM is appropriate tool which is used to determine the impacts of these two scenarios where Scenario 1 only includes virgin wood paper and has no recycling process and Scenario 2 contains paper production with virgin and recycled wood pulp and also, recycling and landfilling processes as waste management methods.
Regarding environmental indicators, by using Scenario 2, 104% of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 31% of energy consumption, 7% of wood consumption, 12% of water consumption, 4% of Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) emissions, 5% of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions, 4% of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and 8% of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) are mitigated compared to Scenario 1. In addition to environmental benefits, significant economic benefits can be provided by Scenario 2 rather than Scenario 1 through material & energy recovery and recycling process. Scenario 2 not only provides environmental and economic benefits, but also is favourable in social aspects. Recycling in Scenario 2 provides better job opportunities than landfilling in Scenario 1 and has enormous role to improve environmental awareness of Swedish society. Finally, the discussion chapter in this thesis includes the summary whole data of the report, the discussion of benefits & impacts of paper recycling, generalization of results and the strength and weaknesses of thesis.