Environmental assessment of Ammässuo Landfill (Finland) by means of LCA-modelling (EASEWASTE).
ABSTRACT The Old Ammässuo Landfill (Espoo, Finland) covers an area of 52 hectares and contains about 10 million tonnes of waste that was landfilled between 1987 and 2007. The majority of this waste was mixed, of which about 57% originated from households. This paper aims at describing the management of the Old Ammässuo Landfill throughout its operational lifetime (1987-2007), and at developing an environmental evaluation based on life-cycle assessment (LCA) using the EASEWASTE-model. The assessment criteria evaluate specific categories of impact, including standard impact categories, toxicity-related impact categories and an impact categorized as spoiled groundwater resources (SGR). With respect to standard and toxicity-related impact categories, the LCA results show that substantial impact potentials are estimated for global warming (GW), ozone depletion (OD), human toxicity via soil (HTs) and ecotoxicity in water chronic (ETwc). The largest impact potential was found for SGR and amounted to 57.6 person equivalent (PE) per tonne of landfilled waste. However, the SGR impact may not be viewed as a significant issue in Finland as the drinking water is mostly supplied from surface water bodies. Overall, the results demonstrate that gas management has great importance to the environmental performance of the Old Ammässuo Landfill. However, several chemicals related to gas composition (especially trace compounds) and specific emissions from on-site operations were not available or were not measured and were therefore taken from the literature. Measurement campaigns and field investigations should be undertaken in order to obtain a more robust and comprehensive dataset that can be used in the LCA-modelling, before major improvements regarding landfill management are finalized.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare various landfill gas (LFG) and leachate treatment technologies in a life-cycle perspective. Design/methodology/approach – Since a landfill causes emissions for a very long-time period, life-cycle-based environmental assessment was carried out to compare different technological options for sustainable leachate treatment and LFG collection and utilization. WAMPS, the life-cycle assessment (LCA) model for waste management planning, was used for the environmental assessment of selected leachate and LFG treatment technologies. Findings – Results of both direct measurements in the studied landfills and LCA support the fact that leachate treatment with reverse osmosis has the best environmental performance compared to aerobic-activated sludge treatment. Recently, the collection efficiency of LFG in the studied landfills is relatively low. In order to improve the overall environmental performance of LFG management the gas collection rate should be improved. LFG utilisation for energy recovery is an essential part of the system. The results of the study show that the avoided impacts of energy recovery can be even greater than direct impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Therefore, measures which combine LFG collection with energy generation should be preferred to treatment in flare. Research limitations/implications – It should be noted that the results of this study do not express the total environmental impacts of the entire landfill system, but only the eutrophicating impacts and global warming related to the studied leachate and LFG management options. Therefore, it is recommended that further LCAs investigate also other relevant impact categories. Practical implications – The results of LCA modelling show that it is important to ensure the highest collection and treatment efficiency of leachate and LFG, since poor capture compromises the overall environmental performance of a landfill. Originality/value – The paper provides a site-specific data on sustainable leachate and LFG management in selected Estonian conventional municipal solid waste landfills. As such, the paper contributes to the development of the regional reference input data for LCA in waste management.Management of Environmental Quality An International Journal 09/2011; 22(6):787-802.
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ABSTRACT: Background, aim, and scopeThe management of municipal solid waste and the associated environmental impacts are subject of growing attention in industrialized countries. European Union has recently strongly emphasized the role of LCA in its waste and resource strategies. The development of sustainable solid waste management systems applying a life cycle perspective requires readily understandable tools for modeling the life cycle impacts of waste management systems. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the structure, functionalities, and LCA modeling capabilities of the PC-based life cycle-oriented waste management model EASEWASTE, developed at the Technical University of Denmark specifically to meet the needs of the waste system developer with the objective to evaluate the environmental performance of the various elements of existing or proposed solid waste management systems. Materials and methodsThe EASEWASTE model supports a full life cycle assessment of any user-defined residential, bulky, or garden waste management system. The model focuses on the major components of the waste and reviews each component in terms of the available waste management options, including biogasification and composting, thermal treatment, use on land, material sorting and recycling, bottom and fly ash handling, material and energy utilization, and landfilling. In order to allow the use of the model in an early stage where local data may be limited, default data sets are provided for waste composition and quantities as well as for the waste technologies mentioned above. The model calculates environmental impacts and resource consumptions and allows the user to trace all impacts to their source in a waste treatment processes or in a specific waste material fraction. In addition to the traditional impact indicators, EASEWASTE incorporates impact categories on stored ecotoxicity, specifically developed for representation of the long-term impacts of persistent pollutants in landfilled waste. The model reports data at any stage of the LCA and supports identification of most sensitive parameters as well as overall sensitivity analysis and material balances for all substances passing through the system. Results and discussionThe structure of the model is presented, and its functionalities are demonstrated on a hypothetical case study based on waste data from a large Danish municipality. The aim of the case is to demonstrate new waste treatment technologies and their modeling capabilities as well as the LCA modeling capabilities in EASEWASTE to identify the most important impact categories and the main sources of contributions to these in the system for treating the waste. Based on the results, the modeling features, user flexibility, and transparency of the EASEWASTE model are discussed. ConclusionsEASEWASTE is demonstrated to be a versatile and detailed (engineering) model with a strong differentiation of individual fractions, but it requires an engineering background to use all the features. The model is especially developed for the modeling of the handling of municipal solid wastes, and therefore, it does not support other wastes such as demolition and large commercial waste. The model is useful for an iterative approach to waste system modeling; its database access supports a quick primary calculation of the impacts from a designed waste system using default data, and based on this, a gradually refined focusing on the parts which contribute the most to the total impacts. The EASEWASTE model allows the user to supply detailed data for waste generation, waste composition including material fractions and chemical properties, sorting efficiencies, waste collection, and waste treatment technologies. More generic LCA modeling tools developed for LCA of products do not support these steps of the modeling to the same extent, and also the creation and evaluation of waste collection, waste transportation, and waste treatment technology individually or in a designed scenario is much easier in EASEWASTE. Recommendation and perspectivesEASEWASTE has been used in the modeling of a number of real case studies, and much data have been incorporated into it. Several research projects are currently underway under the Danish 3R (Residual Resources Recovery) research school in support of its further development. There are, however, still many issues that have to be improved significantly to facilitate application by other users than model developers. The improvements in consideration are to provide data for more treatment and disposal technologies and more flexibility. The current version of the model supports the environmental assessment (environmental impacts and resource consumption) of household and small commercial business units waste treatment systems in a Danish context, but it is the ambition that future versions of the model shall support the inclusion of other waste types as well as economic evaluation and that the geographical coverage shall be extended to other countries. KeywordsEASEWASTE model-Environmental assessment-Life cycle assessment-Material flow analysis-Sensitivity analysis-System modeling-Waste management system-Waste planningThe International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 15(4):403-416. · 3.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose The aim of this study is to develop and analyse a life cycle inventory of construction and demolition waste (C&DW) management systems based on primary data collected directly from Spanish enterprises involved in the life cycle of this type of waste material. Special emphasis is placed on assessing the environmental profile of inert waste sorting and treatment (IWST) facilities. Methods Taking the management of 1 t of C&DW as the functional unit, this study describes the boundaries of the C&DW management system and the scope of the research, which includes all stages from the temporary storage of waste in containers to its recovery or disposal on landfills. Primary data were collected directly from some Spanish enterprises involved in the life cycle of C&DW management: two firms that manufacture containers and bags, two companies responsible for the temporary storage of waste and transporting it, five firms devoted to sorting and treating the waste and two enterprises that operate inert landfills. Special attention was given to the IWST facilities, whose inventory data were related to four phases: pre-treatment and the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. Finally, indicators were obtained for different impact categories. Results The environmental profiles of IWST facilities for mixed C&DW show that the greatest environmental impacts are produced in primary and tertiary sectors. From the life cycle analysis of C&DW management, it can be seen that transport, sorting and disposal make a net contribution to the environmental impact. Savings are due to the recycling of plastics, metals, aggregates and wood for all the impact assessment categories, except global warming in the case of wood and cardboard. Conclusions Impact of IWST can be reduced by selective collection at source, since it avoids the separation of light fractions at plants. Life cycle assessment of C&DW shows that transportation stage plays a decisive role and recycling is not always beneficial.The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 01/2012; 17(2). · 3.09 Impact Factor