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Athens-Biowaste Model: Cost and Carbon Footprint Calculation of the Collection at Source and Treatment of Biowaste

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This paper gives a brief introduction of the so called “Athens Biowaste” model and demonstrates its outcomes through its application on three different case study areas. The model has been developed aiming to support municipalities in building a separate biowaste collection scheme, estimating the direct investment and operational costs and identifying the areas where substantial GHG savings in CO2 eq. could be achieved. The model has been applied in three different Municipalities, representing European urban, suburban and rural areas, varying in population and building characteristics. In all areas, two collection scheme types were examined, namely door-to-door and road containers schemes. All scenarios modelled showed that the investment cost for establishing a separate collection scheme was approximately 10€ per inhabitant using existing waste collection vehicles. Operational cost is directly linked to the type of the collection scheme applied, the participation rate and the collection frequency. The operational cost per tonne of biowaste was reduced approximately by 50 % when the participation rate increases from 25 to 64 %, while cost increased from 40 to 60 % in all examined cases when the collection frequency is doubled. GHG emissions are mostly dependent on waste treatment methods and to a lesser extent on the collection and transportation conditions. The Athens Biowaste model can assist Municipalities in evaluating different biowaste source separation schemes and estimating the level of influence on the total waste management cost and GHG emission savings.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission for the co-financial support of the ATHENS-BIOWASTE project LIFE10 ENV/GR/000605 (

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Correspondence to K. Moustakas.

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Bourka, A., Malamis, D., Venetis, C. et al. Athens-Biowaste Model: Cost and Carbon Footprint Calculation of the Collection at Source and Treatment of Biowaste. Waste Biomass Valor 6, 685–698 (2015).

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