Life-Cycle Assessment of Waste Management Greenhouse Gas Emissions Using Municipal Waste Combustor Data
Bahor, B., Van Brunt, M., Weitz, K., & Szurgot, A. (2010). Life-Cycle Assessment of Waste Management Greenhouse Gas Emissions Using Municipal Waste Combustor Data. In , pp. 749–755. .
This paper compares life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from two municipal solid waste (MSW) management options, municipal waste combustion, and landfilling, using a U.S. EPA life-cycle assessment (LCA) model, the MSW Decision Support Tool. Unlike previously reported LCAs, key combustion model inputs-total MSW carbon content and its biogenic/fossil split-are determined not from MSW composition studies, but from measurements taken at operating municipal waste combustors (MWCs). MWC measurement data show U. S. MSW carbon content averages of 30% with a biogenic/fossil split of 66%/34%. The LCA also considers a range of landfilling scenarios which account not only for alternative land fill gas (LFG) management techniques, but also for the variability of landfill methane generation and capture. The LCA found that for the range of inputs and scenarios considered, municipal waste combustion outperforms landfilling in terms of GHG emissions, regardless of the LFG management technique.