Skip to main content
Log in

Greenhouse gas emissions from biogenic waste treatment: options and uncertainty

Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


A simplified life cycle assessment was conducted to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy production from each component of biogenic waste treated in an open dumping site, and by composting, anaerobic digestion, and incineration employed with additional options. The impact of uncertainties and sensitivities of the parameters in the treatment methods were investigated. We conducted a sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive parameters, and we discussed the relationship between uncertainty and sensitivity. Our results revealed that the moisture content of food waste and the biomass-derived carbon and methane concentration of the landfill gas of biogenic waste subjected to open dumping are the most sensitive parameters across all the treatment methods. The net GHG emissions from food waste treated in an open dumping site ranged over ten times (0.30 − 3.67 Gg CO2 eq/Gg). In addition, by employing additional options for the open dumping site, including soil cover, a landfill gas collection system, shifting to a semi-aerobic condition, and energy conservation by using a gas engine, we found that the net GHG emissions could be reduced by 10, 27.9, 37.4 %, and up to 56.7 %, respectively. Shifting to a semi-aerobic system is the most effective method for reducing GHG emissions, followed by landfill gas collection.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Inanc B, Idris A, Sakai S (2004) Development of a database of landfills and dump sites in Asian countries. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 6:97–103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Secretariat ASEAN (2009) Fourth ASEAN State of the Environment Report 2009. ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta

    Google Scholar 

  3. Singaporean Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (2011) Key environmental statistics 2011. Accessed 8 Feb 2012

  4. Fellner J, Cencic O, Rechberger H (2007) A new method to determine the ratio of electricity production from fossil and biogenic sources in waste-to-energy plants. Environ Sci Technol 41:2579–2586

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. IPCC (2006) Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories, prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme. In: Eggleston HS, Buendia L, Miwa K, Ngara T, Tanabe K (eds), IGES, Japan

  6. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2011) Thailand’s second national communication under the United Nations framework convention on climate change. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand

    Google Scholar 

  7. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2010) Viet Nam second national communication to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam

    Google Scholar 

  8. Ngoc UN, Schnitzer H (2009) Sustainable solution for solid waste management in Southeast Asian countries. Waste Manag 29:1982–1995

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Sakai S, Yoshida H, Hirai Y, Asari M, Takigami H, Takahashi S, Tomoda K, Peeler MV, Wejchert J, Unterseh TS, Douvan AR, Hathaway R, Hylander LD, Fischer C, Oh GJ, Jinhui L, Chi NK (2011) International comparative study of 3R and waste management policy developments. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 13:86–102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Fischer C (2011) The development and achievements of EU waste policy. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 13:2–9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Official Journal of European Communities. Accessed 8 Feb 2012

  12. Eurostat database. Accessed Aug 2012

  13. Bernstad A, la Cour Jansen J (2011) A life cycle approach to the management of household food waste—a Swedish full-scale case study. Waste Manag 31:1879–1896

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Clavreul J, Guyonnet D, Christensen TH (2012) Quantifying uncertainty in LCA-modeling of waste management systems. Waste Manag.

  15. Huijbregts MAJ (1998) Application for uncertainty and variability in LCA. A general framework for the analysis of uncertainty and variability in life cycle assessment. Int J Life Cycle Assess 3(8):273–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cleary J (2009) Life cycle assessments of municipal solid waste management systems: a comparative analysis of selected peer-reviewed literature. Waste Manag 35:1256–1266

    Google Scholar 

  17. Japan Waste Management Association (2006) Manual for planning and designing for improvement and construction of waste treatment facilities. Japan Waste Management Association, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese)

  18. Hiraoka M, Sakai S (1994) The properties of fly ash from municipal waste incineration and its future treatment technologies (in Japanese). J Jpn Soc Waste Manag Experts 5(1):3–17

    Google Scholar 

  19. Chang YF, Lin CJ, Chyan JM, Chen IM, Chang JE (2007) Multiple regression models for the lower heating value of municipal solid waste in Taiwan. J Environ Manag 85:891–899

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  21. Eriksson O, Reich M, Frostell B, Björklund A, Assefa G, Sundqvist J, Granath J, Baky A, Thyselius L (2005) Municipal solid waste management from a systems perspective. J Clean Prod 13:241–252

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Blengini G (2008) Applying LCA to organic waste management in Piedmont, Italy. Org Waste Manag 19(5):533–549

    Google Scholar 

  23. Advanced Scientific Technology & Management (2010) Report on production of green methanol for carbon-free BDF and development of efficient conversion technologies from by-product materials. Advanced Scientific Technology & Management, Kyoto, Japan (in Japanese)

  24. Dote Y, Kurata Y, Maruyama T (1999) CO2 discharge by operation of non-industrial waste disposal site (in Japanese). In: Proceedings of the annual conference of the Japan Society of Waste Management Experts

  25. Ministry of the Environment (2012) National greenhouse gas inventory report of Japan. Ministry of the Environment, Japan.

  26. Japan Waste Management Association (2001) Report of the methane fermentation system (Hitz Compo-gas System). Japan Waste Management Association, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese)

  27. Oonk H, Boom T (1995) Landfill gas formation, recovery and emissions. TNO-report R95-203, TNO. Appeldoorn, The Netherlands

  28. Yasuda K (1997) Greenhouse emissions from waste incineration in Japan (in Japanese). J Jpn Soc Waste Manag 6:432–437

    Google Scholar 

  29. UNFCCC/CCNUCC (2011) Avoidance of landfill gas emissions by passive aeration of landfills. Executive board of the clean development mechanism sixty-second meeting report, Annex 3, AM0093. Accessed 28 Feb 2012

  30. The government of Surabaya (2009) Surabaya environmental report. The government of Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia (in Indonesia)

  31. Bastian L, Hirai Y, Yano J, Sakai S (2011) Scenario analysis of biogenic waste management for climate change mitigation: Case studies in Surabaya and Kyoto. In: Proceeding of the ISWA World Congress 2011, October 17–20, Daegu

  32. Sakai S, Hirai Y, Yoshikawa K, Deguchi S (2005) Distribution of potential biomass/waste resources and GHG emissions analysis for food waste recycling systems (in Japanese). J Jpn Soc Waste Manag Experts 16:173–187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Japan Waste Management & 3R Research Foundation (2004) Ledger of incineration facilities in Japan. Japan Waste Management & 3R Research Foundation, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese)

  34. World Energy Council (2010) 2010 survey of energy resources. World Energy Council, London.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lawin Bastian.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bastian, L., Yano, J., Hirai, Y. et al. Greenhouse gas emissions from biogenic waste treatment: options and uncertainty. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 15, 49–60 (2013).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: