Environmental impact of waste management systems using life cycle assessment

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Weld Ali, Madlien
Awaysa, Rawan
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Abstract Developing countries face many problems. One of these is the waste problem. There are large quantities of waste generated every year that requires a huge amount of space for disposal. Concurrently, the energy sector suffers from a shortage of resources and increasing demand. Fortunately, by using new technologies, we can solve these two issues Synchronously by converting undesirable waste into useful energy. Palestinian government strategic plans (2017-2022) seek to minimize dependency on imported energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and implement sustainable solutions for municipal solid waste disposal. Converting waste into energy is considered a potential approach to achieve the objectives set by the Palestinian government. The scope of this study is to investigate and compare the environmental impact of two different waste management systems in Zahrat Al-finjan landfill by using the LCA approach, from GWP, and CED points of view. The first system is landfill with three scenarios. The first scenario is currently in use, which is landfill without any gas collection, the second one is methane collection and flaring, and the third scenario is LFG recovery. while the second system is establishing an incineration plant, which generates electricity by converting waste into energy. After data collection, models were developed using IPCC formulas and LandGEM software to perform an environmental impact assessment from a life cycle perspective. For incineration and landfill, respectively. In addition, the amount of electrical energy that could be obtained from waste incineration, and LFG recovery was estimated at 8,019 GWh, 668.87 GWh, respectively. The results show that using an incineration plant as a waste management system to generate electricity by waste incineration is the most suitable option for Zahrat Al-finjan landfill. And considerable environmental savings can be achieved when the existing landfill system is replaced with the incineration plant. The CO2-equivalent emissions from incineration were 4.6 Mt, while from landfill without gas collection, methane flaring, and LFG recovery is 5.04 Mt, 2.5 Mt, and 2.5 Mt, respectively. Moreover, the CO2-equivalent reduction from using incineration plant, and LFG recovery output electricity instead of IEC electricity is 6 Mt, and 0.51 Mt, respectively. As for the CED, it is 1.2×1010 MJ for the incineration plant, and 16.6×106 MJ, 16.6×106 MJ, and 7.7×109 MJ for the landfill system with its three scenarios, respectively.