Strategies for the municipal waste management system to take advantage of carbon trading under competing policies: The role of energy from waste in Sydney
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Climate change is a driving force behind some recent environmental legislation around the world. Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets have been set in many industrialised countries. A change in current practices of almost all greenhouse-emitting industrial sectors is unavoidable, if the set targets is to be achieved. Although, waste disposal contributes around 3% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia (mainly due to fugitive methane emissions from landfills), the carbon credit and trading scheme set to start in 2010 presents significant challenges and opportunities to municipal solid waste practitioners. Technological advances in waste management, if adopted properly, allow the municipal solid waste sector to act as carbon sink, hence earning tradable carbon credits. However, due to the complexity of the system and its inherent uncertainties, optimizing it for carbon credits may worsen its performance under other criteria. We use an integrated, stochastic multi-criteria decision-making tool that we developed earlier to analyse the carbon credit potential of Sydney municipal solid waste under eleven possible future strategies. We find that the changing legislative environment is likely to make current practices highly non-optimal and increase pressures for a change of waste management strategy.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Environmental Engineering Modelling