Environmental performance evolution of municipal solid waste management by life cycle assessment in Hangzhou, China

Abstract : There is a significant increase in the volume of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) that is being generated across the world. Faced with this challenge and the associated environmental issues, MSW management (MSWM) in Hangzhou, China has made various positive changes in order to adapt. During the last 10 years, MSW source-separated collection was launched, which was accompanied by estimations of a new waste-to-energy (incineration) plant and food waste separate treatment methods. The aim of this study is to investigate the related evolution of the environmental performance of MSWM system in Hangzhou from 2007 to 2016 by using life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA is a scientific tool to quantify factors such as environmental impacts from a life cycle perspective and provides valuable inputs to decision-makers, thus leading to proper strategy determination. Results illustrate that the annual environmental performance has an overall downward trend with some minor fluctuations. The MSWM system in 2010 had the lowest weighted result of 0.0349 PE/t-MSW due to the highest incineration rate and implementation of source-separated collection. Incineration shows better environmental performance than landfill, while source-separated collection can benefit the MSWM. While the importance of source-separated collection is significant, it is also essential to concentrate on the food waste treatment technology. It is suggested that anaerobic digestion (AD) can be considered as a primary option for food waste treatment.
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Zhaozhi Zhou, Yuanjun Tang, Jun Dong, Yong Chi, Mingjiang Ni, et al.. Environmental performance evolution of municipal solid waste management by life cycle assessment in Hangzhou, China. Journal of Environmental Management, Elsevier, 2018, 227, pp.23-33. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.08.083⟩. ⟨hal-01919089⟩

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