Municipal solid waste management system: decision support through systems analysis

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Pires, Ana Lúcia Lourenço (2010)
  • Publisher: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Thesis submitted to the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering The present study intends to show the development of systems analysis model applied to solid waste management system, applied into AMARSUL, a solid waste management system responsible for the management of municipal solid waste produced in Setúbal peninsula, Portugal. The model developed intended to promote sustainable decision making, covering the four columns: technical, environmental, economic and social aspects. To develop the model an intensive literature review have been conducted. To simplify the discussion, the spectrum of these systems engineering models and system assessment tools was divided into two broadly-based domains associated with fourteen categories although some of them may be intertwined with each other. The first domain comprises systems engineering models including cost-benefit analysis, forecasting analysis, simulation analysis, optimization analysis, and integrated modeling system whereas the second domain introduces system assessment tools including management information systems, scenario development, material flow analysis, life cycle assessment (LCA), risk assessment, environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, socio-economic assessment, and sustainable assessment. The literature performed have indicated that sustainable assessment models have been one of the most applied into solid waste management, being methods like LCA and optimization modeling (including multicriteria decision making(MCDM)) also important systems analysis methods. These were the methods (LCA and MCDM) applied to compose the system analysis model for solid waste. The life cycle assessment have been conducted based on ISO 14040 family of norms; for multicriteria decision making there is no procedure neither guidelines, being applied analytic hierarchy process (AHP) based Fuzzy Interval technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS). Multicriteria decision making have included several data from life cycle assessment to construct environmental, social and technical attributes, plus economic criteria obtained from collected data from stakeholders involved in the study. The results have shown that solutions including anaerobic digestion in mechanical biological treatment plant plus anaerobic digestion of biodegradable municipal waste from source separation, with energetic recovery of refuse derived fuel (RDF) and promoting pays-as-you-throw instrument to promote recycling targets compliance would be the best solutions to implement in AMARSUL system. The direct burning of high calorific fraction instead of RDF has not been advantageous considering all criteria, however, during LCA, the results were the reversal. Also it refers that aerobic mechanical biological treatment should be closed. Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia - SFRH/BD/27402/2006
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