In our day-to-day living, a simple underlying principle is to consume resources in one form or another. This consumption generates waste, which needs to be dealt with in a responsible, efficient and effective manner. Waste is mostly collected and disposed by municipalities. This presents a challenge for these municipalities in dealing with ever increasing amounts of waste to be managed. This is particularly critical in cities, where the demand for these services is increasing. Management of municipal solid waste (MSW) continues to be one of the top priorities for human communities in the 21st century. The model of integrated solid waste management, reduction of waste right at the source points before it enters the chain of waste stream, reuse of generated wastes for recovery by recycling, and disposal through environmentally sound combustion facilities and landfills that meet policy standards are being used by communities as they evolve. Solid waste management is known to be an important contributor to various environmental problems, for example climate change (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions from landfills), disturbing multiple ecosystems (e.g. heavy metal emissions into air, soil and surface water), and improper use of resources leading to depletion (e.g. inexistent or inefficient recycling processing methods for a few particular key minerals or metals) among others. The formidable rise in solid waste generation require suitable management systems, which methodically handle these environmental issues and eventually contribute to move towards a more environmentally sustainable society. This paper presents a method based on Data Envelopment Analysis to analyse the efficiency of Waste to Energy systems, looking not only at maximising the positive outputs (e.g. Energy), but also minimising the negative ones (e.g. emissions). The results provide a benchmark for municipalities to aim in the operation of their Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM).
|Journal||Procedia Environmental Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Aug 2016|