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Evaluation of municipal solid waste final disposal scenarios through life cycle assessment and analytic hierarchy process methods (Case study: Tehran)




 Background and Objective: An integrated model of Life Cycle Assessment and hierarchical analysis was developed to determine the best practical method for municipal solid waste disposal. The model used for environmental and technical assessments of scenarios included (A) landfilling of wastes without energy extraction; (B) waste incineration with energy recovery and ash burial; and (C) production of compost from the organic components and landfilling other wastes. Method: In order to conduct environmental assessments, the amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) was estimated by life cycle of the disposal method. Technical evaluations were carried out based on the hierarchical analysis method and a survey of experts. In order to analyze the results of the proposed model, Tehran city in Iran was selected as a case study. Findings: The highest Greenhouse Gas Emissions occurred in scenario A, and the lowest was associated with scenario B. Maximum discounts on emissions from burning putrescible wastes, paper and cardboards were obtained in scenario B. In contrast, landfilling of such wastes in scenarios A and C was the main source of methane production. Although the incineration of plastic wastes might lead to more energy extraction in scenario B, the generation of non-biological CO2 had an incremental effect on GHG emissions. Scenarios A and C had a relatively high superiority over scenario B from the perspective of most technical criteria, but the probability of leachate in these scenarios reduced their technical advantages. Discussion and Conclusion: Based on the combination of evaluations, the method of landfilling without energy extraction is the most inappropriate option, and waste incineration with energy extraction leads to the lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions and is technically acceptable.


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