Waste Management with Lca

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Life Cycle Assessment –News Letter
No-11 Eleventh Issue July,2012
5. Disposal landfill). (such as

In this issue:
Waste Management & LCA : Study Material

Waste Management & LCA
Environmental protection is the buzz word today. It ranks very high in the public agenda of governments all over the world. Renewable energy and waste management sectors are getting a lot of attention from researchers and planners. But in this article we will focus on waste management sector. Waste is no more a garbage. It is now being considered as a resource. And recovery of resource is one of the prime objectives of present day Waste Management systems. It is worth noting here that there is no single technology that is capable of taking care of various wastes like plastics, glass, metals, bio-waste etc. Wastes contribute a lot in overall environmental burden and take up a lot of space as land fill sites. Also the nature of wastes is getting more complex day by day. It has, therefore, become imperative to have sound waste management strategies and policies for optimised environmental protection.

LCA is increasingly utilised for solid waste management systems especially in the decision-making process and in strategy-planning. LCA has been utilised for sustainable MSW management since 1995. LCA is an ideal tool for application in MSW management because geographic locations, characteristics of waste, energy sources, availability of some disposal options and size of markets for products derived from waste management differ widely. LCA can help reduce local pressures and waste management costs, while considering the broader effects and trade-offs felt elsewhere across society. SimaPro India has started various online courses on Waste Management, Waste to Energy & Recycling with SimaPro. For more details on these courses log on to

It is expected that the above hierarchy would deal with wastes in a most resourceful way. The Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) concept and quantitative tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can provide an informed and science-based support to a more environmentally sustainable decisionmaking in waste management. LCA quantifies all relevant emissions, resources consumed/depleted, and the related environmental and health impacts associated with any goods or services. Therefore, within the concept of LCT, LCA is a vital and powerful tool to effectively and efficiently help make consumption and production globally more sustainable. When LCA is applied to waste management services, typically the system boundary starts where the active life of the product ends. Therefore, LCA focuses on comparison of different waste management options, without covering the entire life cycle of the products which have become waste. For example, when evaluating different options for bio-waste management, usually the production stages of the food that has become bio-waste, are not considered. Therefore, LCA applied to waste management service differs from product LCA which accounts for the Page 1

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Sunil Kumar, Head, SIPL.

“To inculcate the culture of environment management and sustainability among future scientists and managers PRé and SIPL are now providing free faculty licenses, to all recognized educational institutes in India”. Under this license each institute will get SimaPro along with ecoinvent data for its students and staff. To get this free license of ‘SimaPro’ please contact at info@simaproindia.com or visit www.pre.nl .

EU Waste Framework Directive establishes a

straightforward five-step waste hierarchy as legally binding priority order for waste management. The hierarchy is 1. 2. 3. 4. Waste prevention Re-use Recycling Other recovery and

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