Ecological–economic modelling for strategic regional waste management systems

Shmelev, S E and Powell, John R (2006) Ecological–economic modelling for strategic regional waste management systems. Ecological Economics, 59 (1). pp. 115-130. ISSN 09218009

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Abstract

This paper summarises some recent work exploring the development of a multi-criteria optimisation tool for achieving sustainable solutions for municipal solid waste management systems (MSWMS). The aim of the project was to provide a new methodological background for the regional solid waste management modelling taking into account spatial and temporal patterns of waste generation and processing, environmental as well as economic impacts of the system development with a particular emphasis on public health and biodiversity. The research has focused on integrating three different approaches to the spatial-temporal analysis of the MSWMS, namely a life cycle inventory analysis, which helps to identify emission patterns within the MSWMS, a multi-criteria optimisation approach, which helps to find compromise solutions among environmentally and economically preferred options, and a geographic information systems approach, which provides a tool for identifying waste management facilities, transportation environmental and social impacts, as well as analysis of environmental impacts on valuable ecosystems. A Russian methodology for calculating environmental damage was used to weight the importance of different sub-territories covered by the system as well as simplifying the analysis of emissions from the waste treatment plants. The approach provides a new perspective for the analysis of municipal solid waste management systems at the regional scale. The principal novelty of the proposed complex MSW strategic management model is an integration of the different types of data-geographical, environmental and economic-using relational database technology. Simulations using the dataset for Gloucestershire were performed on a simplified version of the model. Simulations were undertaken to explore the potential effects on waste management infrastructure of introducing the EU Landfill Directive. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the methods utilised has suggested that a relatively affordable and easy to use tool can be developed for strategic analysis of the municipal solid waste management system in a region, giving useful support to the decision-maker regarding the potential development paths and trade-offs between economic and environmental performance of a proposed waste management system

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Author Keywords:ecological-economic modelling; waste management; integrated approach; UK KeyWords Plus:MUNICIPAL SOLID-WASTE; DECISION-SUPPORT-SYSTEM; LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT; UNITED-STATES; GENERATION; METHODOLOGY; UNCERTAINTY; PROGRAMS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2014 14:10
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 14:10
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/466

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