This paper analyses different alternatives for solid waste management that can be implemented to enable the targets required by the European Landfill and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives to be achieved in the Valencian Community, on the east coast of Spain. The methodology applied to evaluate the environmental performance of each alternative is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The analysis has been performed at two levels; first, the emissions accounted for in the inventory stage have been arranged into impact categories to obtain an indicator for each category; and secondly, the weighting of environmental data to a single unit has been applied. Despite quantitative differences between the results obtained with four alternative impact assessment methods, the same preference ranking has been established: scenarios with energy recovery (1v and 2v) achieve major improvements compared to baseline, with scenario 1v being better than 2v for all impact assessment methods except for the EPS'00 method, which obtains better results for scenario 2v. Sensitivity analysis has been used to test some of the assumptions used in the initial life cycle inventory model but none have a significant effect on the overall results. As a result, the best alternative to the existing waste management system can be identified.
- Sustainable waste management
- Life cycle assessment