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Industrial waste management within manufacturing: A comparative study of Tools, policies, visions and concepts


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Industrial waste is a key factor when assessing the sustainability of a manufacturing process or company. A multitude of visions, concepts, tools, and policies are used both academically and industrially to improve the environmental effect of manufacturing; a majority of these approaches have a direct bearing on industrial waste. The identified approaches have in this paper been categorised according to application area, goals, organisational entity, life cycle phase, and waste hierarchy stage; the approaches have also been assessed according to academic prevalence, semantic aspects, and overlaps. In many cases the waste management approaches have similar goals and approaches, which cause confusion and disorientation for companies aiming to synthesise their management systems to fit their waste management strategy. Thus, a study was performed on how waste management approaches can be integrated to reach the vision of zero waste in manufacturing.
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Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Manufacturing Research (ICMR2013)
Sasha Shahbazi1, Martin Kurdve1,2, Marcus Bjelkemyr1, Christina Jönsson2, Magnus Wiktorsson1
1School of Innovation, Design and Engineering
Mälardalen University
Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, SE 631 05, SWEDEN
2Swerea IVF
Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm, SE 100 44, SWEDEN,,,
Industrial waste is a key factor when assessing the sustainability of a manufacturing process or
company. A multitude of visions, concepts, tools, and policies are used both academically and
industrially to improve the environmental effect of manufacturing; a majority of these approaches
have a direct bearing on industrial waste. The identified approaches have in this paper been
categorised according to application area, goals, organisational entity, life cycle phase, and waste
hierarchy stage; the approaches have also been assessed according to academic prevalence, semantic
aspects, and overlaps. In many cases the waste management approaches have similar goals and
approaches, which cause confusion and disorientation for companies aiming to synthesise their
management systems to fit their waste management strategy. Thus, a study was performed on how
waste management approaches can be integrated to reach the vision of zero waste in manufacturing.
Keywords: waste management, industrial waste, manufacturing
An increase in global manufacturing activities is evident. Globalisation, industrialisation, and
economic development has led to an increase in product demand and increased manufacturing activity
we have seen a 35% increase of global manufacturing activities over 2001-2010 while the global
GDP increased by 26% (Wiktorsson, 2012), which also lead to larger volumes of industrial (material)
waste (Tojo, 2004). Since the introduction of the concept “sustainable development” (WCED, 1987)
and commitment to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (EU, 1987), the
apprehension of limited resources on the earth has been noticed remarkably (Tojo, 2004).
In the last 20 years, industrial waste has become a critical issue and causes concerns with regards
to global sustainability and environmental effects (Macarthur, 2012). In 2010, the total generated
waste from households and economic activities in the EU-27 amounted to 2 570 million tonnes while
Germany, France and UK have the most portion in the generated waste. Manufacturing accounted for
280 million tonnes of waste generation in 2010 (around 10.9 % of the total) while generated waste
from households accounted for 221 million tonnes in the EU-27. UK, Poland, Italy, Germany and
France together generated around 60% of total manufacturing waste in 2010, whereas UK produced
around 23 million tonne (8% of total manufacturing waste) and Sweden produced 7.8 million tonne
manufacturing waste (2.7 % of total manufacturing waste). However, waste quantity is one problem
while the quality of waste is the other being hazardous or non-hazardous, valuable or non-valuable.
Current industrial waste management challenge is to keep high quality grades of material in the
industrial system.
The scope of waste management is wide and encompasses different terms. Both industrial waste
and depletion of virgin material put pressure on manufacturing companies to find new viable
Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, Wiktorsson
approaches that are in line with environmental, social, and economical sustainability. Different
approaches have been created in academia and industry in the past few years, but evidence of actual
use of them is not clear. They also overlap each other by having similar goals and proposing similar
approaches toward waste management (Lilja, 2009). Examples of such concepts are zero waste, waste
minimisation, zero emission and waste prevention.
To support conquering of mentioned challenges, this paper contributes to the field of sustainable
manufacturing by presenting a comparison of tools, policies, visions and concepts for industrial waste
A structured literature search was done as complement to former reviews on waste management
approaches that are applicable for manufacturing industry. Of the identified papers addressing
industrial waste management, 80 papers were reviewed to identify and contrast different waste
management approaches. The search incorporated the key words "industrial waste" and " waste
management approach" as well as their combination with "manufacturing" and "automotive". The
search was focused on papers addressing a situation similar to that in Swedish manufacturing industry
and specifically automotive industry; however, papers addressing waste management outside of this
scope were also included in the study. The selecting method was based on both keywords a qualitative
up-stream and down-stream search for relevant references. The empirical base for the paper relies
upon discussions with experts in industrial workshops, in order to verify the results. In addition to the
18 waste management approaches presented in this paper, an additional 19 were identified but
omitted. The exclusion was either based on that an approach had a limited link to industrial waste
management, or that an approaches was a subsets of another one that is addressed in this paper, e.g.
eco-industrial parks and industrial symbiosis are applications to the concept industrial ecology, and
Individual Product Responsibility and Extended Product Responsibility are subsets of the policy/tool
product stewardship.
3.1 Zero waste
The Zero waste focuses on waste prevention, minimisation and reusing by considering waste as
valuable resource rather than a problem for companies. It aims to utilise the concept material
efficiently and uses all material inputs in the final product or changes it into other inputs for another
process(Tang, 2008). Matching input and output of different industries is one of the key challenges
that need to be solved, possibly by industrial ecology through eco-industrial parks, industrial
symbiosis, and new technologies (ZeroWIN, 2010, Atlas, 2001). On a smaller scale products also
need to be designed to meet the requirements of multiple lifecycles, for example through eco-design
and design for disassembly and reassembly (Tang, 2008). With the same intention, Environmentally
Conscious Design and Manufacturing(EDCM) addresses the existing and future relationships between
design, manufacturing, and environment. Environmentally conscious technologies and design
practices help manufacturers to minimise waste and turn it into a profitable product (Zhang et al.,
1997). The zero waste vision and closed-loop are both directed towards preventing waste rather than
managing generated waste, however zero waste can be integrated with other approaches including
industrial ecology, cleaner production, pollution prevention, zero emissions and natural capitalism.
(Curran and Williams, 2012). Furthermore, tools including Green performance map, eco-mapping and
waste diversion planning system can be commonly used to pursue zero waste vision as all are based
on eliminating wasteful usage of energy, material, emissions and resources.
Regulatory factors commonly play a key role to encourage waste minimisation activities;
however, geographically limited regulations generally drive costs in the short term. Therefore it is
easier to establish and enforce regulations when the economy is good than in the current economic
Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, Wiktorsson
3.2 Waste prevention
The waste prevention is a vision that focus on both quantitative and qualitative reduction of waste, i.e.
lower volumes and lower toxicity before the material or product is converted to waste (Lebersorger,
2008, Lilja, 2009). This definition covers the top three steps of the waste hierarchy: prevention,
reduction and reusing. However, waste prevention neither include recycling, energy recovery, nor
product design for recycling and remanufacturing (Lilja, 2009). Discarded material is in this vision
considered as waste, even if they are recycled regardless of if money is paid for the material. The
waste prevention can be strengthened by product stewardship via standards, legislations and cleaner
production through technology optimisation and innovative technologies. Other approaches including
eco-design, Environmental Management Systems (EMS), Environmentally Conscious Design and
Manufacturing(EDCM), eco-efficiency, eco-mapping and Green performance map contribute in
obtaining such vision while all of them cover waste prevention step in waste hierarchy.
Material efficiency and waste prevention both are crucial approaches towards zero waste
(ZeroWIN, 2010). However, material efficiency is a preferred life cycle approach rather than waste
prevention since the majority of the environmental benefits from waste prevention stem from the
decreased requirement to produce materials (Lilja, 2009), as elaborated: “Waste prevention is the goal
ranked highest in the waste hierarchy, but the materialisation of this goal needs actions that are not
alternatives for investments in waste recycling, waste recovery or final disposal”.
3.3 Cleaner production
The objectives of the cleaner production is to enhance productivity and environmental performance,
reduce environmental effects, improve raw material efficiently, reduce water and energy usage,
decrease emissions and design for environmental cost-effective products i.e. Eco-design (Li and Chai,
2007, EPA, 2003). In comparison with the eco-efficiency (Gravitis, 2007), cleaner production is based
on environmental efficiencies that have internal economic advantages, whereas eco-efficiency is based
on economic efficiencies that have environmental advantages. Neither of these concepts cover waste
utilisation in late life-cycle phases. For instance, unlike end-of-pipe waste management solutions,
cleaner production focuses on the manufacturing phase of the product life cycle (Gumbo et al., 2003).
In addition, this vision cover the least area on waste hierarchy among the other visions by just
considering reduction stage and it is in line with (Kuehr, 2007) study which put zero emission as the
next step of cleaner production towards sustainability.
Cleaner production and eco-efficiency focus on reducing materials inputs and reducing wastes at
the level of the firm, whereas industrial ecology characterises a development that moves forward from
dealing with localised environmental impacts (Gibbs and Deutz, 2005). At the firm level eco-design,
pollution prevention and green accounting can contribute; LCA tool and process-based strategies e.g.
industrial symbiosis are used at the inter-firm level; and material and energy flows are used at the
global level (ZeroWIN, 2010). Cleaner production pertain also cleaner technology, Environmental
management systems and best practice concepts (Zhang et al., 1997). Cleaner technology associated
by using innovative technologies that have economic and environmental benefits for source reduction
and eliminating or reducing hazardous waste (Curran and Williams, 2012). Although technological
progresses has helped industries to some extend reduce the environmental damages, best practice
does not solely consist of changes in process but it also include changes from old way of thinking to
continuous improvement of all aspects of companies’ operations and activities. An example of related
tool is waste diversion planning system which improve waste recycling performance by track
particular material diversion tonnage and total percentage of recycled material regarding weight or
3.4 Zero emission
The zero emissions vision is more extensive than cleaner production vision or other related concepts
such as product stewardship (ZeroWIN, 2010). It is closely related to Eco-design through LCA and
carbon footprint. This vision is in line with pollution prevention and waste prevention as all focus on
reducing wastes and emissions to zero without decreasing productivity. According to (Kuehr, 2007),
zero emission is the last step toward sustainability whereby a closed-loop, industrial ecology (via eco-
Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, Wiktorsson
industrial parks), wastes being used as inputs for other industries. Connection of zero waste and
cleaner production can be found through using of new technologies and analysing material flows
(Gravitis, 2007). Various tools are also related to such vision e.g. GPM can identify non-productive
outputs of processes in term of rest material, waste and emission to air, water and ground (Kurdve et
al., 2012).
The identified set of waste management approaches have similar strategies to tackle current
environmental issues, which cause confusion for industries who want to minimise generation of waste
and emission. The approaches can be classified into visions, concepts, tools, and policies; each of
these serve the purpose of reducing waste or the effect of the waste that is generated. Visions are
generally unattainable, but serves as ultimate targets to strive for. Concepts represent broad ideas and
solutions for how to reach a vision; however, each individual concept is generally not sufficient to
reach a vision. Tools generally incorporate a specific process that serves a specific goal, and a set of
tools with different application might are commonly utilised to pursue each concept. Policies and
environmental regulations are either used to hinder development in an undesirable direction or to steer
companies towards a more desirable path. Policies and regulations are imposed by local, national or
international authorities; however, depending on the policy itself and the market it targets, the effects
may exceed its geographical intent or have a more limited effect.
Figure 1 presents the waste management approaches that were most cited in literature with respect
to manufacturing industries. The approaches are mapped according to type (vision, concept, tool, or
policy), organisational usage level (management or operation), measurement (quantitative or
qualitative), improvement action (technology upgrade, management/decision-making, operational
improvement, mind-set changes, or raw material substitution) and number of found citations (based
on pair key word search).
Figure 1 - The 18 most cited tools, concepts, visions and policies categorised
According to figure 1, most of the approaches are applicable for management, but only one of the
visions and three of the concepts are applicable for the operational level. This illustrates a gap where
the practical operational processes do not have sufficient background or purpose. The lack of vision
Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, Wiktorsson
and purpose may lead to that hands-on environmental efforts, tools, and policies introduced at the
shop-floor are met with distrust and seen as unnecessary work. This inevitably leads to inefficient
waste management and non-sustainable production. In order to improve waste management at the
operational level, the vision and concept associated with each tool needs to be made clear for the
Only half of approaches focus on both a quantitative reduction of waste and a qualitative
reduction i.e. reduced toxicity. Treatment of hazardous waste and toxicity disposal is therefore the
next major concern in waste management activities. Around 77% of all approaches note that better
management and decision making lead to environmental improvement, while 88% of them
recommend operational improvement of the actual waste generating processes as well. Technology
upgrade, raw material exchange and mind-set change have been addressed by approximately 30%.
This indicates that operational improvement and managerial decisions play an important role in
environmental improvement.
In figure 2 all chosen waste management approaches are mapped according to product life cycle
phase and waste hierarchy steps. The mapping is based on the literature review; however, the specific
approaches are not necessarily static and rarely directly linked to life-cycle phases or waste hierarchy.
Consequently, the table should be used indicatively for the whole set of approaches, not for drawing
conclusions for single approaches.
Figure 2 - Integrated table of waste hierarchy and product life cycle, with numbers from Fig 1
The waste management approaches that cover the most areas in the matrix above are zero waste,
eco-design, industrial ecology, waste prevention, and cleaner production. These are either visions or
concepts, which is logical since both tools and policies need to be more detailed and therefore have a
more limited scope.
The majority of waste management approaches refer to reduction, followed by reuse, recycling,
and waste prevention. The dominance of reduction approaches is natural since waste reduction has a
direct effect on manufacturing activities at the factory, reducing volume, cost and complexity
resulting from waste. Therefore, non-environmental benefits might be an incentive for manufacturing
companies to more focus on reduction. The limited number of approaches linked to landfill and
energy recovery is a direct result from this study’s focus on manufacturing; however, it also shows
that these end-of-pipe solutions have a weak connection to a product’s life phases and waste
management activities in manufacturing. In addition, both landfill and energy recovery pose primarily
technical difficulties, which is not shown in this study.
Approximately 70% of the waste management approaches have impact on the manufacturing
phase of the product. 77% of approaches influence raw material processing phase while half of them
affect the end of life phase. Moreover, design and consumption phase can be influenced by 44% of the
approaches. As the matrix shows, the manufacturing phase and raw material processing phase of
product life cycle are often the primary targets of the approaches; however, the evidences of actual
use of them among manufacturing companies is not so common.
Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, Wiktorsson
The most frequent barriers toward waste management and sustainable production is according to this
study: technical limitation, cultural shifts, lack of EU-level goals on waste prevention and material
efficiency, hindrance for waste prevention due to low waste disposal costs and absence of standards
for reusable products. Achieving sustainable production therefore, requires a structured approach with
best use of existing tools and concepts integrating with environmental policies, and/or developing new
ones in order to prevent waste in the first place. Corporate environmental managers should realise that
enhancement of waste minimisation is more probable by hands-on approaches at the facility level and
consequently integrated methods should be used at shop-floor to motivate companies to formalise and
follow their waste minimisation actions. Most of these actions are not technology driven. They
constitute material substitution, waste separation, recycling, process improvement, preventing leak
and spills, inventory control and better management procedure. Hence, future waste minimisation
might not take place on technological changes but on mind-set changes, operational improvement and
management techniques in order to reduce the quantity of waste while enhance the quality of waste
and residual material. Re-examination of production processes and operations, and redesigning
material flow and production system is necessary to identify waste minimisation opportunities and
enable remanufacturing, recycling, reusing, refining and recondition of the material. Moreover, taking
advantage of other facilities experiences in waste minimisation actions and communicating these
among stakeholders, staffs, customers and supplier will facilitate such paths.
The study is an introduction to the research on different approaches regarding waste management,
but more data will be needed to describe their specification and interaction in detail. Examples on
future research are to study each approach or subset in respect to a more detailed organisation level,
improvement processes and direct and indirect effect on product life cycle phases. Moreover, the
application of each approach in different manufacturing companies would be essential to see how
these concepts are implemented in practice.
Atlas, M. 2001. Industrial hazardous waste minimization, barriers and opportunities. Greener
manufacturing and operations: from design to delivery and back. Greenleaf.
Curran, T. & Williams, i. D. 2012. A zero waste vision for industrial networks in europe. Journal of
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EPA 2003. United states environmental protection agency (epa), "lean manufacturing and the
environment: research on advanced manufacturing systems and the environment and
recommendations for leveraging better environmental performance".
EU 1987. Our common future. The brundtland report. W. C. O. E. A. Development, united nations.
Gibbs, D. & Deutz, P. 2005. Implementing industrial ecology? Planning for eco-industrial parks in the
usa. Geoforum, 36, 452-464.
Gravitis, J. 2007. Zero techniques and systems zets strength and weakness. Journal of cleaner
production, 15, 1190-1197.
Gumbo, B., Mlilo, S., Broome, J. & Lumbroso, D. 2003. Industrial water demand management and
cleaner production potential: a case of three industries in bulawayo, zimbabwe. Physics and
chemistry of the earth, parts a/b/c, 28, 797-804.
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... There is also literature gap about the integration of waste management approaches in the manufacturing industry, environmental and health considerations (Singh, Laurenti, Sinha, & Frostell, 2014), (Karak, Bhagat, & Bhattacharyya, 2012), (Demirbas, 2010) and Quantifying and identifying causes(sources) of wastes in the manufacturing industry were not researched adequately by integrating the zero-waste and lean management(manufacturing) concepts (Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, & Wiktorsson, 2013),and (Bello, Ismail, & Kabbashi, 2016).In most research theoretical justifications were set as a final destination of paper but in most research not validated practically. ...
... It aims to utilize the concept material efficiently and uses all material inputs in the final product or changes it into other inputs for another process. Matching input and output of different industries is one of the key challenges that need to be solved, possibly by industrial ecology through eco-industrial parks, industrial symbiosis, and new technologies (Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, & Wiktorsson, 2013). On smaller scale products also need to be designed to meet the requirements of multiple lifecycles, for example through eco-design and design for disassembly and reassembly. ...
... With the same intention, Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing (EDCM) address the existing and future relationships between design, manufacturing, and environment. Environmentally conscious technologies and design practices help manufacturers to minimize waste and go it into a profitable product (Shahbazi, Kurdve, Bjelkemyr, Jönsson, & Wiktorsson, 2013). Waste minimization in the industry is motivated by environmental legislation and regulations that try to more equitably evaluate the long-term costs of waste generation to the sources of such generation. ...
Waste management (WM) looks to be one of the key topics in the manufacturing industry for economical sustainability or a shift towards a circular model of resource consumption, health of nations as well as environmental protection in present days. The Purpose of the study is to investigate the current situation of waste management in metal manufacturing industry at the case company, Kaliti Metal Products Factory, in Ethiopia. The research methodology followed was applying both qualitative and quantitative methods for the case study approach. Descriptive statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel were applied to analysis of the collected data. In this research the primary data were gathered through questionnaires, structured interviews or group discussion and the secondary data sources were collected through literature reviews from different sources of scientific journals, and observations. On factory shop floor survey was also done to investigate the major problems of the metal manufacturing industries related to waste management, in the case company, Kaliti Metal Products Factory (KMPF). The results and findings obtained from the data analyses shows 75 % of the total production time for standard products and 56 % of the total production time for other engineered products were found waiting time waste according to lean principle; 331.205 ton of metal wastes from standard products department and 23.15 ton of metal wastes from other engineered products departments, totally 377.505 tons of metal wastes were found. The main sources (causes) of metal wastes in the case company were found to be technology constraints, selecting the lowest price bidder suppliers and sub-suppliers, poor time management (waiting time), damage of output products and poor technology of machines and equipment, lack of contribution of the management system aiming at waste minimization, lack of transformed industrial design, Lack of 100% Recycling and Recovery, and New infrastructure & system thinking were considered as the extreme significant by the respondents for the cause of wastes in the case company. In general, the mitigation measures to practice for reducing metal products wastes in metal manufacturing industry are, management initiative & focus, giving training for metal products manufacturing personnel on causes and remedies of metal wastes through the integration of the Lean & the Zero Waste Management. So, proper awareness and attention to waste management in the metal manufacturing industry in Ethiopia can improve the profitability and competitiveness of the metal manufacturing industry significantly, particularly for the case company, Kaliti Metal Products Factory (KMPF) since zero metal manufacturing waste is disposed directly to landfill or to incineration without energy recovery.
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... Mapping and analysis of material and waste flows should address quantity of material consumption and waste generation as well as quality of generated waste i.e. homogeneity of waste (Shahbazi et al., 2013). The homogeneity of waste is vital for further recycling and reuse of wasted material. ...
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... The second path, design of green production processes or cleaner production (CP), involves designing production processes that minimise harmful impact on the environment. There are several approaches that, like CP, support corporate sustainable development, such as industrial ecology, eco-efficiency, sustainable manufacturing, pollution prevention and zero emissions (Despeisse et al. 2012;Shahbazi et al. 2013). CP is defined as "the continuous application of an integrated preventative environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to hu-mans and the environment" (UNIDO 2014). ...
This thesis deals with development of lean and green production systems from an action research point of view. The studies focus on Swedish-based automotive and vehicle industries and their aims to integrate sustainable thinking and environmental care into their operations management. Starting from operations management in manufacturing and corporate sustainable development, the research is built on how to integrate these two views into one production system. The systematic structure of a multiple-target improvement process with methodologies and tools designed to achieve the sustainability vision has been studied. Since lean as well as green production is based on the entire value chain, the research has gone beyond legal company limits and included the collaborative efforts between suppliers and customers in the value chain. The thesis includes six papers and describes approaches on how to implement integration, how to structure and integrate improvement management systems, how to set up an integrated monitoring and control system for the business and how to organise and redesign green lean tools and methodologies to support collaboration towards common targets. The results can be used for exploration and hypothesis formulation for further studies and development of integrated production systems and collaboration systems. The thesis helps answering how to integrate and implement company-specific green lean production systems. Full text at:
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In this paper, research on the possibilities of sodium sulphate (Na 2 SO 4 ) separation from other substances in the filter ash sample is presented. The research material contains six components that differ in chemical composition and density. The possibilities of Na 2 SO 4 separation using dry and wet methods were studied. The dry method was based on separation with a centrifugal air classifier at four cut size limits. The wet method was based on the dissolution of water-soluble components, filtration of insoluble components, and drying the products. The sulphur content of the individual products was determined using both methods. The aim of the research was to determine which method is more suitable for separation of the material in a way that most of the material would contain as little sulphur as possible and the rest of the material would contain concentrated sulphur. The wet method proved to be more successful. The product with mass fraction 33.1% of the total mass, obtained from the aqueous solution, contained 8.39% sulphur after filtration and drying. The water-insoluble component, with mass fraction 66.9% of the total mass, contained 0.56% sulphur. The dry method with the centrifugal air classifier proved to be less successful in comparison with the wet method. The particles containing Na 2 SO 4 are very similar in size and density to the other components of the material, so the separation to the desired extent was not achieved.
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Environmentally conscious design and manufacturing (ECD&M) is a view of manufacturing that includes the social and technological aspects of the design, synthesis, processing, and use of products in continuous or discrete manufacturing industries. The benefits of ECD&M include safer and cleaner factories, worker protection, reduced future costs for disposal, reduced environment and health risks, improved product quality at lower cost, better public image, and higher productivity. Environmentally conscious technologies and design practices will allow manufacturers to minimize waste and to turn waste into a profitable product. This paper updates information about ECD&M and provides some general information, guidelines, and references for research and implementation. In the meantime, more clear definitions of related terms used in the ECD&M area are provided. A brief future trends analysis is also provided.
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The combination of water demand management and cleaner production concepts have resulted in both economical and ecological benefits. The biggest challenge for developing countries is how to retrofit the industrial processes, which at times are based on obsolete technology, within financial, institutional and legal constraints. Processes in closed circuits can reduce water intake substantially and minimise resource input and the subsequent waste thereby reducing pollution of finite fresh water resources. Three industries were studied in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to identify potential opportunities for reducing water intake and material usage and minimising waste. The industries comprised of a wire galvanising company, soft drink manufacturing and sugar refining industry. The results show that the wire galvanising industry could save up to 17% of water by recycling hot quench water through a cooling system. The industry can eliminate by substitution the use of toxic materials, namely lead and ammonium chloride and reduce the use of hydrochloric acid by half through using an induction heating chamber instead of lead during the annealing step. For the soft drink manufacturing industry water intake could be reduced by 5% through recycling filter-backwash water via the water treatment plant. Use of the pig system could save approximately 12 m3/month of syrup and help reduce trade effluent fees by Z$30/m3 of “soft drink”. Use of a heat exchanger system in the sugar refining industry can reduce water intake by approximately 57 m3/100 t “raw sugar” effluent volume by about 28 m3/100 t “raw sugar”. The water charges would effectively be reduced by 52% and trade effluent fees by Z$3384/100 t “raw sugar” (57%). Proper equipment selection, equipment modification and good house-keeping procedures could further help industries reduce water intake and minimise waste.
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Despite the widespread incorporation of sustainable development into policy discourses, actually achieving the ‘win–win–win’ scenario of economic, environmental and social development continues to be problematic. Advocates of industrial ecology suggest that by shifting the basis of industrial production from a linear to a closed loop system, these gains can be achieved. In recent years, concepts drawn from industrial ecology have been used to plan and develop eco-industrial parks (EIPs) that seek to increase business competitiveness, reduce waste and pollution, create jobs and improve working conditions. Despite a growing interest in EIPs, there have been few empirically informed studies that seek to explore the potential contribution such EIPs may make to sustainable development. This paper contributes to a developing sympathetic critique of industrial ecology by focusing on the key problems and dilemmas that arise in the course of developing eco-industrial parks, drawing upon empirical work conducted in the USA. The paper draws upon both an extensive survey of EIPs and in-depth interviews conducted with a range of stakeholders at ten US sites. As the paper reveals, EIPs in the USA are in their early stages and likewise their contribution to both economic development and environmental policy, let alone social policies, is complicated and inchoate. The empirical material reveals that key features of industrial ecology such as inter-firm networking and collaboration in the form of materials interchange and energy cascading are either absent or in the early planning stages. In each of the ten cases what is emerging is a form of EIP partly determined by the geographic setting and broader economic realities of the locality. While collaborative behaviour between firms is central to EIP development if the potential benefits of industrial ecology are to be realised, it is important to realise that such behaviour is difficult to develop from scratch through policy intervention. In conclusion, the paper suggests that expectations must be realistic for the community and location in question. As part of that realism, EIP projects must be designed to allow for a gradual approach, and each phase needs to be financially viable.
Conference Paper
An efficient Waste Management System creates increased business value contributing to manufacturing industry sustainability and realizes economic opportunities. Previous studies have shown the economic potential of improving material efficiency by climbing the waste hierarchy and turning waste liabilities into assets. World economic forum also identifies innovation for resource efficient solutions and business models as the most strategic option to capture value in industry. The main responsibility for waste lies with the operations owner but since waste management usually is operated by other functions or companies, supportive methods to include material waste in operational development are needed. The main purpose of the research has therefore been to develop a method framework for identifying and analysing potentials for waste management in manufacturing industry, including residual material values of metals, combustible and inert waste, process fluids and other hazardous waste. Case studies were conducted to find economically competitive environmental improvements on team, site and multisite level and to define suitable performance indicators for continuous improvements. A novel approach: waste flow mapping (WFM), combining Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Eco mapping and a waste composition analysis with basic lean principles is used. The material’s value flow and the information flow is analysed in a VSM. Eco-mapping is used to give a graphical structure for the analysis of labour and equipment, with subsequent costs. Finally the waste hierarchy and composition analysis is used to imply the potential for business improvements and best practice examples are used. The developed method reveals the potential in an easy way and support integration of waste management in operations and continuous improvement work. Empirical data from a full scale multi-site study of waste management of material residuals at a global manufacturing company’s operations in Sweden are used to exemplify that with the WFM approach the mapping can be done in an efficient and consistent manner, revealing value losses and improvement potentials. Fraction definitions and operational practice standards were essential to realise cost efficiency and reach a more sustainable footprint. Comparisons between sites show that with simple actions, substantial improvements in recycling efficiency can be made, leading to proposed performance indicators and highlighting the need for established standardized implementation solutions. The results further point out the importance of avoiding mixing material with lower quality grade of that material. The experiences prove that Waste Flow Mapping is a suitable method to efficiently identify sustainability improvement potentials.
Clean production is studied from thermodynamic perspective. Based on comparison between industrial and thermodynamic systems, mechanisms of clean production are thermodynamically revealed. Thermodynamic analysis are conducted on the technical framework, which offers a qualitative way for the improvement of the energy quality of resources, regenerative cycle of resources reutilization and multi-cycle and multi-process. Assessments for technological, economical feasibility and environmental achievement of clean production are then provided. Finally the analysis results are successfully used in a typical company.
This article analyses the process of preparing the proposal for a new Finnish National Waste Plan (NWP 2007–2016). The focus of this study is on the use of the alternative concepts of waste prevention or material efficiency and on the shift in discourse from the former to the latter concept.The strengths and weaknesses of these competing concepts were analysed using criteria such as synergy, semantic aspects, legal context and applicability to monitoring. The discourse presented by different stakeholder groups was analysed. The implications of choosing either of the concepts were illustrated.The author concludes that waste prevention can be promoted just as well, or even better from the perspective of improving material efficiency. The concept must be complemented by policy instruments within the chemical policy sector to cover the aspect of qualitative waste prevention.
The Zero Emissions approach comprises a research and action-based program, launched at the Tokyo-based headquarters of United Nations University (UNU) in 1994 and actively supported, among others. by the Japanese government as part of its security policy. Through the Zero Emissions lens, material cycles from intake to emissions should be managed as a holistic system. Thus, the primary focus is the intake of natural resources within renewable limits and final emissions within acceptable limits. This implies the optimisation through an integrated system of processes and consequently the mimicry of the hierarchy of natural ecosystems in the anthropogenic sphere. A network of industries through clustering builds integrated systems in which everything has its use. The Zero Emissions concept requires industries to re-engineer their manufacturing processes in order to fully utilise the resources within the systems—the set target of Zero Emissions. Other concepts such as cleaner production emphasise the minimisation of emissions and wastes through recycling, reuse and reduction, but mainly concentrate on the “end of pipe”.In the anticipated “Zero Emissions society”, consumers would preferentially purchase functions instead of material goods and thus, be actively involved in the creation of a new service economy where all materials are automatically sent back to the producers after they lose their function. Additionally, the design of goods should lead to eradication of the concept of waste.The UNU Zero Emissions Forum—through networking with academia, industry and governmental policy-makers—promotes international multidisciplinary research and development efforts to analyse trends in society and technology and pave paths for concrete pilot projects. Thus, the Forum has gathered concrete experience through a number of case studies all over the world.
Nature does not know the term “harmony”. Only humans should be in harmony with nature and artificial production system, particularly industry, should not destroy natural planetary cycles. It is clear that the world's industry and agriculture based on fossil resources exploitation are not sustainable. Harmony means complementary of natural and man-made cycles. However, there is a fundamental difference between industrial chains and biological chains. We can't use absolute analogy between biological chains and industrial chains. Industrial production chains are artificial created by humans. Zero Emissions concept accented that all industrial inputs can be completely converted into a variety of final products and that waste products can be converted into value added inputs for another chain of production or energy supply. In principle ZETS concept eliminates waste problem completely. The manufacturing line can be viewed as integrated technologies and series of production cycles and recycling systems. What is our opportunity to substitute renewable resources for fossil ones? The international climate conference in Kyoto (1997) and others can be regarded as tests for human capacity to cooperate and creatively manage two dominating carbon-rich solar energy conversion products: fossil organic materials and biomass. The former is found in rich deposits and is physically rather homogeneous (oil, gas and coal), whereas the latter is widely dispersed and highly diversified (microorganisms, plants and animals). Those aspects give oil refineries the character of compact cluster of chemical plants, whereas biomass refineries (biorefineries) are just as diverse as their feedstocks (mills for grain- and oilseeds, the food industry, fermentation plants, pulp and paper mills, etc.) This situation can inspire two questions. The first question is how the fossil carbon sources can be utilized without releasing greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In contrast to products from non-renewable resources, wood materials do not influence the atmospheric CO2 balance. The second question is, when the oil production finally drops, whether clusters of processing units, designed for the upgrading of specific bioresources, can turn out a similar multitude of products as oil refineries do. The answers on these and other questions will be discussed in the context of ZETS using many case studies examples. Integrated ZETS have many advantages and disadvantages, too.
'ZeroWIN' (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial is a five year project running 2009-2014, funded by the EC under the 7th Framework Programme. Project ZeroWIN envisions industrial networks that have eliminated the wasteful consumption of resources. Zero waste is a unifying concept for a range of measures aimed at eliminating waste and challenging old ways of thinking. Aiming for zero waste will mean viewing waste as a potential resource with value to be realised, rather than as a problem to be dealt with. The ZeroWIN project will investigate and demonstrate how existing approaches and tools can be improved and combined to best effect in an industrial network, and how innovative technologies can contribute to achieving the zero waste vision.