Life-cycle assessment of municipal solid waste management alternatives with consideration of uncertainty: SIWMS development and application

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El Hanandeh, Ali
El-Zein, Abbas
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R. Cossu

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2010
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Abstract

This paper describes the development and application of the Stochastic Integrated Waste Management Simulator (SIWMS) model. SIWMS provides a detailed view of the environmental impacts and associated costs of municipal solid waste (MSW) management alternatives under conditions of uncertainty. The model follows a life-cycle inventory approach extended with compensatory systems to provide more equitable bases for comparing different alternatives. Economic performance is measured by the net present value. The model is verified against four publicly available models under deterministic conditions and then used to study the impact of uncertainty on Sydney's MSW management 'best practices'. Uncertainty has a significant effect on all impact categories. The greatest effect is observed in the global warming category where a reversal of impact direction is predicted. The reliability of the system is most sensitive to uncertainties in the waste processing and disposal. The results highlight the importance of incorporating uncertainty at all stages to better understand the behaviour of the MSW system.

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Waste Management

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30

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5

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© 2010 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.

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Environmental engineering

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