Integrated Solid Waste Management and Its Environmental Sustainability in a Carbon Constrained Environment

Investigators: North Carolina State University

Start Date:
Dec 2009

End Date:
Sept 2016

Award Amount:

Project Background & Objectives
The goal of the proposed research is to develop a life-cycle assessment (LCA) model capable of analyzing solid waste management (SWM) performance – at both the individual process and integrated system levels – taking into account implications of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policies and competing SWM objectives (e.g., costs, emissions, and diversion targets). An integrated life-cycle optimization model will be developed to estimate the costs, energy use, emissions, and environmental impacts associated with the processes (e.g., collection, separation, waste-to-energy [WTE], composting, anaerobic digestion, landfilling) that constitute the SWM system. The model will be used to meet the following objectives:
1. Quantify the increased costs associated with various SWM processes due to different GHG mitigation policies including anticipated energy price changes induced by these policies.
2. Evaluate changes in integrated SWM strategies (i.e., waste flows and process choices) that most effectively respond to different GHG mitigation policies.
3. Quantify the effects of GHG mitigation policies and related energy price changes on other SWM-related environmental impacts (e.g., smog formation and acidification).

Final Report