Planning and decision-making for energy recovery from waste at the sub-regional level

  • D.M. Longden

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research project has developed a novel decision support system using Geographical Information Systems and Multi Criteria Decision Analysis and used it to develop and evaluate energy-from-waste policy options. The system was validated by applying it to the UK administrative areas of Cornwall and Warwickshire. Different strategies have been defined by the size and number of the facilities, as well as the technology chosen. Using sensitivity on the results from the decision support system, it was found that key decision criteria included those affected by cost, energy efficiency, transport impacts and air/dioxin emissions. The conclusions of this work are that distributed small-scale energy-from-waste facilities score most highly overall and that scale is more important than technology design in determining overall policy impact. This project makes its primary contribution to energy-from-waste planning by its development of a Decision Support System that can be used to assist waste disposal authorities to identify preferred energy-from-waste options that have been tailored specifically to the socio-geographic characteristics of their jurisdictional areas. The project also highlights the potential of energy-from-waste policies that are seldom given enough attention to in the UK, namely those of a smaller-scale and distributed nature that often have technology designed specifically to cater for this market.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTony Bridgwater (Supervisor)


  • Planning
  • decision-making
  • energy recovery from waste
  • sub-regional level

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