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Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 133–149 | Cite as

Optimization of the municipal solid waste management system using a hybrid life cycle assessment–emergy approach in Tehran

  • Mohammad Falahi
  • Akram AvamiEmail author
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • 90 Downloads

Abstract

The sustainable design of the waste-management system is of crucial importance for cities like Tehran, capital of Iran. Tehran’s municipal solid-waste management has adopted modern practices and technologies very slowly. This study proposes the optimum pathway to reach maximum environmental benefits as well as the most cost-effective technologies according to the financial limits. The hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA)–emergy approach is applied to utilize the life cycle emissions as an inventory database to estimate the ecosystem services provided by the natural ecosystem to dilute the emissions and compensate raw material consumption. Among organic waste-treatment options, composting is optimally chosen by the hybrid LCA–emergy approach while considering the LCA method solely; the anaerobic digestion is the preferable option. Recycling is the most preferable solution for paper, plastic, and glass in terms of energy recovery and cost saving. However, the budget constraint affects the results. Considering the budget constraint, 65% of ferrous metals are diverted from recycling into metal landfill. Cost reduction of recycling technologies may divert metal flow from landfill to recycling. The limited budget has a significant impact on recycling solutions. Overall, the combination of composting and source separation should be considered as the most sustainable and eco-friendly pathway in Tehran.

Keywords

Municipal solid waste Life cycle assessment (LCA) Emergy Tehran 

List of symbols

Variables

AP

Acidification potential

POF

Photochemical ozone formation

NE

Nutrient enrichment

FAETP

Freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity potential

MAETP

Marine aquatic ecotoxicity potential

TETP

Terrestrial ecotoxicity potential

RE

Respiratory effect

IR

Ionized radiation

ARD

Abiotic resource depletion

RD

Resource depletion

GWP

Global warming potential

EQ

Ecosystem quality

HTP

Human toxicity potential

CED

Cumulative energy demand

IS

Impact score

CF

Characterization factor

m

Life cycle intervention

EI

Environmental impact (end-point impact unit/year)

NEm

Net emergy

C

Unit emergy coefficient (SeJ/ton)

f

Flow of waste (ton/year)

Mair

Fresh air (kg air/year)

D

Air density (kg/m3)

AE

Annual air emission of each technology (kg emission/yr)

c

Standard concentration for a pollutant (kg emission/m3 air)

Rair

Ecosystem emergy equivalent (SeJ)

Nkinetic

Air kinetic energy (J)

tr

Transformity (SeJ/J)

trair

Dry air transformity (SeJ/J)

vair

Wind speed (m/s)

TW

Total generation of waste

W

Waste

SSW

Source segregated waste

DDW

Direct disposed waste

WIP

Waste entered into processing unit

DW

Total disposed waste

RW

Total recovered waste

B

Total annual budget of waste-management system

O

Operational cost of waste-treatment technology

Index

e

Impact category

t

Technology

x

Substance

p

Pollutant

i

Emission compartment

j

Emergy output item

k

Emergy input item

Tr

Treatment node

\( \tau \)

Waste type (organic, paper, plastic, glass, metal, and other)

s

Waste source (city, hospital, towns, and firms)

il

Inert landfill

pal

Paper landfill

gl

Glass landfill

pll

Plastic landfill

ml

Metal landfill

ol

Organic landfill

co

Composting

ad

Anaerobic digestion

pa

Paper

g

Glass

pl

Plastic

m

Metal

or

Organic

o

Other waste

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy Systems Engineering Group, Department of Energy EngineeringSharif University of TechnologyTehranIslamic Republic of Iran

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